Sleep disorder raises risk of car accidents

Date: April 20, 2023
Woman in Gray Tank Top Lying on Bed

It happens to most drivers. They get in their car after a long day of work or try to get through a lengthy trip on not enough sleep. Although some Ocean County drivers that make it to their destination with their eyelids fluttering begging to be shut safely, others are not so lucky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that in approximately 2.5 percent of fatal accidents and two percent of injury crashes, drowsy driving was a factor.

While drivers may not get enough sleep for a variety of reasons, new research indicates that those individuals with the sleep disorder sleep apnea are more likely to drive drowsy and cause accidents.

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is obstructed while they are asleep. When gone untreated, this sleeping disorder can cause poor performance in everyday activities and also be a leading cause of car accidents among those that suffer from it.

According to the Huffington Post, new research discovered that those who lived with sleep apnea had higher chances of car crashes than those who did not have this sleep disorder. The study, which involved 2,673 individuals with sleep apnea, found that six individuals out of every 100 that had this disorder and let it go untreated got into a vehicle crash every year. In comparison, the average crash rate for those in general is only two vehicle accidents annually out of every 100 people.

The dangers of drowsy driving
No matter whether a driver has sleep apnea or not, they are still a threat to other drivers on the road if they are driving on not enough sleep. Being sleepy while driving affects a driver’s ability to:

• Devote their complete attention to driving.
• React appropriately to dangerous driving situations.
• Make decisions while operating a vehicle.

If you have a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea, make sure that you are receiving treatment. If not, the next time you get behind the wheel, pay attention to the warning signs of drowsy driving. You may be too tired to drive if you find that you are drifting between lanes, miss your turns, yawn or blink frequently, or start having problems remembering the past few miles that you travelled.

Contact an attorney
Unfortunately, not every driver pays attention to these warning signs or even realizes that drowsy driving is a risk to themselves and others on the road. If you were injured in a car accident with another driver that failed to pay attention to the signs of drowsy driving, contact an attorney in your area that can help you pursue proper compensation for your injuries.