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Study Finds that Drowsy Driving Causes Greater Share of Accidents than Official Reports Show

When the average person’s schedule fills up, one of the first things they’re likely to cut back on is the amount of sleep they get. Sleep may feel like a luxury, but for those getting behind the wheel of a car, sleep is critical to the driver’s safety and the safety of others on the road. It can be challenging to prove that an accident was caused by drowsy driving, but research using video cameras trained on drivers shows how often drowsiness precedes a major crash. Studies have also revealed how minor the sleep deprivation needs to be to make a driver less safe. Read on for more information, and contact a dedicated personal injury attorney after a Vero Beach car crash.

Drowsy drivers involved in substantial share of crashes studied

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study on drowsy driving by examining footage taken of drivers with video cameras installed in over 3,500 vehicle cabins. Specifically, the researchers watched the drivers in the moments before a crash took place, observing whether the drivers showed signs of drowsiness by noting how many of the six seconds prior to a crash the driver spent with their eyes closed. According to official federal statistics, only 1% to 2% of all fatal crashes are caused by drowsy drivers. However, the AAA Foundation found that 9.5% of all crashes studied involved a drowsy driver. Among serious crashes—those involving major vehicle damage, physical injury, or deployment of an airbag—the rate of drowsy driver involvement was 10.8%.

Sleep deprivation as dangerous as drunk driving, study finds

According to another study sponsored by the AAA Foundation, sleep deprivation can make a driver as dangerous on the road as does large quantities of alcohol. The researchers examined survey responses from drivers and police reports generated after officers responded to a serious crash to investigate how often sleep deprivation played a role in a crash. The researchers found that drivers who got less sleep than they usually did, or fewer than seven hours’ sleep, were significantly more likely to be involved in a serious crash. When drivers got only five or six hours’ sleep, they became nearly twice as likely to be involved in an accident. Drivers who got four or fewer hours’ sleep had a crash rate that was over 11 times higher than a well-rested driver. Researchers found that drivers operating on four or fewer hours of sleep were as dangerous as a driver who had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 or 0.15. The blood alcohol level that will qualify someone as a drunk driver is 0.08.

If you need help getting the money you’re owed after a Florida crash, contact the dedicated, seasoned, and effective Vero Beach traffic accident lawyer Keith Bregoff for a free consultation at 772-492-8967.

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