New Study Highlights Correlation Between Sleep Deprivation and Crashes

A new study by the U.S. Department of Transportation looks at the relationship between sleep deprivation and crash risk in the general driving population. More specifically, this study examines crashes that occurred in the United States between 2005 and 2007 involving at least one vehicle towed due to damage and an emergency medical services dispatch. Part of the investigations into each accident involved an assessment of the drivers’ recent sleep. The study included more than 7,200 drivers who were involved in over 4,500 crashes.

The results of the study showed that drivers who usually slept for less than five hours daily, drivers who slept for less than seven hours in the past 24 hours, drivers who slept for one or more hours less than their usual amount of sleep in the past 24 hours have much higher crash rates than other drivers. Using the general recommendation that healthy adults should sleep for at least seven hours per day, the data indicated that driving after only four or five hours of sleep is similar to the risk of crashing of a driver with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or slightly above the legal limit for alcohol. Those drivers who slept for four hours or less had much higher crash rates than other drivers.

More specifically, when a driver had less than four hours of sleep in the past 24 hours, he or she had 11.5 times the crash rate as a driver who had slept for seven hours or more. Likewise, if a driver had between four and five hours of sleep, he or she had 4.3 times the crash rate as a driver who had slept for seven hours or more. A driver with between five and six hours of sleep had a crash rate that was 1.9 times that of a driver who had slept for seven hours or more, and a driver with between six and seven hours of sleep had a crash rate that was 1.3 times that of a driver who had slept for seven hours or more.

When a motor vehicle accident occurs for any reason and causes injury to a passenger or driver of another vehicle, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, determining the cause of the accident that led to your injuries is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Since it may take some time to sort these matters out, and you only have a limited timeframe in which to a file a personal injury claim, you should take immediate action to get legal help. Don’t delay in calling the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan in order to set up your free consultation today.