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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that drowsy driving is a serious problem on roadways throughout the United States. The dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness can and does easily result in injuries or deaths from motor vehicle accidents. Whether it is the result of insomnia, lack of consistent sleep patterns, a sleep disorder, certain medications, or drinking alcohol, driving while drowsy can have a great impact on you and your passengers, as well as the drivers and occupants of other vehicles on the road.

One study showed that one of every 25 drivers admitted to having fallen asleep while driving over the past 30 days. However, even if a driver does not actually fall asleep, drowsiness lessens a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road, slows a driver’s reaction time in terms of braking or slowing down suddenly, and affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions overall while driving. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving caused about 72,000 crashes in 2013, which resulted in 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. However, data shows that many drowsy driving-related accidents go unreported, which suggests that as many 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be attributable to drowsy driving.

Some individuals who are particular risk for drowsy driving include over-the-road truck drivers, swing-shift workers, commercial bus and tow truck drivers, drivers who use certain medications, and drivers who simply do not get enough sleep. Additionally, drivers who got less than six hours of sleep or who snored were more likely to report falling asleep while driving.

When drowsy driving or other negligent behavior causes a motor vehicle crash resulting in serious injuries to you or a loved one, the impact can be immeasurable. Although some accidents are just that – accidents – others are caused by the negligence of another, such as a drowsy, inattentive, or distracted driver. If you or a family member is in this situation, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Call Boller & Vaughan for an appointment, and learn how our Wisconsin personal injury attorneys stand ready to advocate on your behalf.