How many hours of sleep do you typically get each night? Do you generally feel well rested in the morning or could you use a few more minutes or hours of sleep? According to a recent study, even some people who feel as if they have gotten enough sleep in the morning may be at risk of fatigued driving during the day.
The research was performed at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers set out to determine whether those who sleep fewer hours at night are at an increased risk of causing a motor vehicle accident.
According to the study, individuals who generally only sleep six hours each night increase the likelihood that they will drive while drowsy by three times, compared to those who sleep at least seven hours each night. The statistics become even more severe for those who sleep five hours or less at night – those individuals are four times more likely to drive while fatigued when compared to individuals who sleep seven hours at night.
While most people would likely assume that getting more sleep would reduce the risk of drowsy driving, many people who sleep fewer than six hours each night believe they are well rested in the morning. These so-called short sleepers are still at an increased risk of driving while fatigued, even if they believe they have gotten enough sleep the night before, according to the study.
Avoid serious drowsy driving accidents in Tennessee
Drowsy driving is a serious concern across the country, as federal data indicates 15 to 33 percent of all fatal car accidents in the United States are caused by fatigued drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 24 individuals surveyed admitted that they had fallen asleep while driving.
To combat this prevalent problem, officials in Tennessee have enacted a public awareness campaign to reduce the number of drowsy driving accidents in the state. The “Live to See Tennessee” campaign is aimed at informing motorists in Tennessee about the dangers of getting behind the wheel when they are drowsy.
When motorists begin to feel fatigued behind the wheel, they should pull over and rest until they are alert enough to continue safely. In addition, drivers should never get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or taking medications that could cause drowsiness.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may be entitled to compensation to cover the damage caused. In such cases, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.