Can sleep disorders lead to drowsy driving accidents?
Drowsy driving is one cause of serious and fatal crashes that often gets overlooked. At some point, most people drive while tired. Many people have managed to get to their destinations without causing a crash, but some have not been so lucky.
About 800 traffic fatalities happen each year across the United States due to drowsy driving. What's worse, drowsy driving crashes tend to be severe since drivers often make no attempt to stop to avoid a crash.
Full speed crashes often result in fatal injuries. Those who survive these crashes often sustain:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Severe lacerations and bruises
How do sleep disorders cause drowsy driving?
A sleep disorder is a condition that either disrupts the ability to sleep at night or stay awake during the daytime. According to the MayoClinic, the most common sleep disorders include:
- Insomnia — People with insomnia have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
- Sleep apnea — People with sleep apnea experience abnormal breathing patterns when sleeping. This can result in poor sleep quality and daytime drowsiness.
- Restless legs syndrome — People with restless leg syndrome (also called Willis-Ekbom disease) experience an uncomfortable sensation and uncontrollable urge to move their legs while trying to sleep.
- Narcolepsy — People with narcolepsy may experience severe drowsiness during the daytime and may even fall asleep unexpectedly.
When these conditions aren't properly diagnosed and treated, drivers who suffer from them are at a great risk of causing serious crashes that could result in severe injuries or deaths. Drivers who suffer from sleep disorders must be responsible enough to seek medical attention and stay off the road until they can receive the appropriate treatment. Drivers who suffer from narcolepsy and are prohibited from driving should never get behind the wheel.
Other common causes of drowsy driving
According to drowsydriving.org, other common causes of drowsy driving include:
- Receiving six hours of sleep or less
- Driving for long periods of time without taking breaks
- Driving during the late night, early morning, or late afternoon hours
- Taking sedatives or other over-the-counter medications
- Working for more than 60 hours per week
- Working overnight or rotating shifts
- Drinking alcohol, even in small amounts
- Driving on long roads with no changes
Contact a Bronx attorney if you were injured in a drowsy driving accident
If you were injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, you may be overwhelmed with medical bills while you're unable to work and collect a paycheck. You may also be emotionally devastated by the impact your injuries have on your daily life.
You shouldn't have to suffer financial loss and emotional anguish because of someone else's negligent actions. That's why it's important that you speak to an experienced Bronx car accident attorney at Giampa Law as soon as possible.
Our legal team will fight to hold negligent drivers accountable and help you get the compensation you deserve. To get started on your claim, contact us online and schedule your free legal consultation.