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How dangerous is drowsy driving?

Many drivers get behind the wheel when they are exhausted, causing risks and dangers associated with fatigued driving. How dangerous is drowsy driving? It is recommended that we get an average of seven hours of sleep of night. When we lose one or two hours of sleep, this can double a motorist's risk of causing a car accident. Based on current findings, the odds of a car crash multiply by 4.3 times when a driver is running on four to five hours of sleep. When a driver is operating with less than four hours of sleep, this risk rises 11.5 times.

This data provides a sobering reality check, as it is comparable to drunk driving. In fact, research indicates that a driver with less than five hours of sleep has the same crash risks are someone who is engaged in drunk driving. This shows that a person cannot miss sleep and still have the expectation that they can safely function behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Nonetheless, motorists still drive while fatigued because they do not view it as a risky situation. Based on current data, one in three motorists admit that in the previous month they drove at least once when they were so tired that they had trouble keeping their eyes open. In these cases, if an accident occurs, liability could be placed on the fatigued driver.

Drowsy driving is a form of negligence behind the wheel. In the event of a car accident, victims could hold a fatigued driver liable through a personal injury claim. This could help the victim hold the driver accountable and assist them with compensation for damages and losses.

Source: Nydailynews.com, "Tired driving doubles crash risk - comparable to drunk driving," Joe Dziemianowicz, Dec. 6, 2016

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