How Sleep Deprivation Leads to Car Accidents

How Sleep Deprivation Leads to Car Accidents

795 drivers were killed in 2017 alone from driving while sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation has been known to lead to single-vehicle and multiple-vehicle accidents, which often cause severe injuries and death. While drinking and driving claims more lives, driving while sleep deprived can put your life and other’s lives at risk. There are ways to prevent these accidents from occurring through the practice of better sleep habits and techniques to wake yourself up if you are already driving. If a driver hits you, even if they were sleep deprived, you may still be able to earn compensation for any injuries you sustained during an accident by speaking with an Oklahoma car accident lawyer.

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation on Driving

In 2015, police reports showed that 41,000 people were injured and 800 people died from drowsy driving. However, sleep scientists and other experts claim that the numbers may actually be higher because there is no definitive way to determine that someone was drowsy while driving after they have died. Most accidents happen between midnight and 6 am because this is when the circadian rhythm dips. Many of these drivers were alone, so they had no passenger to wake them up when they fell asleep.

How a Lack of Sleep Affects Driving

How Sleep Deprivation Leads to Car AccidentsAdequate sleep is not only essential for avoiding falling asleep at the wheel, but also for mental health, life longevity, and daily performance at work or school. The first signs of sleep deprivation are irritability and disinhibition, which can disrupt normal thinking. If the person experiences even less sleep, they will begin to feel emotionally numb to the world and others around them. Sleep deprivation past this level is when driving becomes dangerous because now the person’s memory and ability to multi-task will be impaired.

Driving requires a lot of multi-tasking that we take for granted. We need to watch the road, the speedometer, adjust the radio, stay within our lane, use our turn signal, and follow traffic norms to get from point A to B. If our state of mind lacks the ability to multi-task on top of feeling drowsy, then accidents are more likely.

Building Better Sleep Habits

One way to avoid falling asleep at the wheel is to experience better sleep. There are a few healthy sleep practices that can help. First, avoid exercise, alcohol, or caffeine six hours before you go to sleep. Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, only use your bed for sleep or sex, and be sure to at least get six hours of sleep each night. If you are driving and feel tired, pull over if you have to. Pulling over for a few minutes of rest is better than falling asleep at the wheel. Use caffeine if you have to or call a friend.

Legal Help for Car Accident Injuries in Oklahoma 

If you have suffered injuries through the fault of another driver, you may not have to pay the medical bills for long. Oklahoma personal injury lawyers work with clients to help them obtain fair compensation for their injuries. To find a personal injury lawyer, feel free to contact the Law Firm of Griffin Reynolds at (405) 721-9500 for a free consultation. We will work with you to earn your money back.