Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Sleep Deprivation and Car AccidentsFebruary 10, 2017
A new study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that as little as one hour of lost sleep increases your risk for getting into a car accident. AAA also reported that 50 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, which is a disturbing statistic given that the Centers for Disease Control found that only 35 percent of Americans get seven hours of sleep each night. Recent studies on the risks of sleep deprivation and car accidents indicate that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous at driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Researchers in the recent AAA study found that drivers who slept only four to five hours in a 24-hour period were four times more likely to be involved in a car crash. Drivers with under four hours of sleep were almost 12 times more likely to get into a car accident than drivers with seven hours of sleep. The effects of driving with fewer than four hours of sleep were equivalent to driving drunk. Slow reactions, blurry vision, poor judgment, and falling asleep behind the wheel are behaviors common to both drunk and drowsy drivers.
Drowsy drivers also have a great deal of difficulty concentrating and maintaining their focus on the road. They often drift into other lanes, sometimes even into lanes of oncoming traffic. Failing to stop at red lights and stop signs, turning corners too sharply, and missing signs warning of upcoming changes in traffic patterns are also common causes of drowsy driving car accidents.
Preventing Drowsy Driving Car Accidents in Maryland
AAA recommends that drivers plan ahead to ensure that they sleep at least seven hours before getting behind the wheel. For those times when seven hours of sleep is not possible, drivers can arrange a ride to the office or to their destination, keeping not only themselves safe, but also all those on the road. Drowsy driving can also occur on long distance trips. Sharing the task of driving with a passenger is one way to maintain focus. Stopping to get out of the car every few hours and getting some nourishment can go a long way in sustaining your energy.
When driving will last more than eight hours, plan to stop and rest. Book a hotel room and get a good night’s sleep before embarking on your journey early the next day, or pull over on the side of the road, when safe to do so, and grab a quick 30-minute nap to rejuvenate yourself until you can get to a hotel for the night. Keeping conversation going with a passenger can also help you stay awake, but this is not a substitute for a good night’s rest.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Drivers
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident involving a drowsy driver, the experienced team of Maryland car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help you claim the compensation you may be entitled to receive. We take drowsy driving laws seriously, and are committed to helping you claim justice.
Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529), or contact us online. Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, Maryland and serve clients throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, including the towns of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.