Although your sleep requirements might differ from those of your spouse or coworkers, the fact remains that everyone needs at least some sleep in order to function at optimum cognitive capacity. Sleep deprivation has both short- and long-term effects on the body, and the quality of sleep that you get matters just as much as the quantity.
According to WebMD, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation include hypertension, obesity, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders like depression. Since these conditions develop over time, it can be hard to link them to sleep deprivation; however, most people are well aware of the short-term effects of fatigue. They are similar to those of alcohol and typically include:
- Slower reaction time;
- Poor memory;
- Decreased alertness; and
- Decreased performance in both mentally and physically strenuous activities.
When you consider the short-term effects of sleep deprivation, it is not surprising that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers estimate drowsy drivers are responsible for up to 6,000 fatal motor vehicle collisions annually.
If you were hurt in a devastating accident with a drowsy driver, contact the Law Office of George R. Fusner Jr. If you have grounds for a claim, George R. Fusner Jr. will gather evidence, calculate damages, and negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. Call 615-251-0005 or 800-427-8960 to schedule a free case evaluation with a car wreck attorney in Nashville.
Who Is Most at Risk of Causing a Drowsy Driving Collision?
Although everyone is susceptible to fatigue and might theoretically get behind the wheel while drowsy, some individuals are more likely to do so than others. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving collisions are especially common among:
- Adults between the ages of 18 and 29;
- Shift workers;
- Adults with children in their household;
- Individuals with undiagnosed sleep disorders; and
- Commercial drivers.
How Can You Avoid a Drowsy Driving Collision?
The most effective way to avoid causing a drowsy driving collision is by getting plenty of sleep every single night. Everyone’s particular needs vary, but in general, the average adult should get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep per night. You may also be able to avoid getting in sleep-related accidents if you know the signs of drowsy driving. They are similar to those of drunk driving and include swerving, sudden acceleration or deceleration for no apparent reason, and ignoring traffic signs and signals.
If you spot a motorist who is exhibiting any signs of drunk or drowsy driving, keep your distance. If possible, you can also pull over and report the vehicle and its direction of travel to local police so they can assess the situation.
Sadly, even if you follow the above tips, you could still end up in a devastating sleep-related collision. If you were hurt because of a drowsy driver, contact the Law Office of George R. Fusner Jr.
Call 800-427-8960 to schedule a free consultation with a car wreck lawyer in Nashville. If you want to learn more about car accident claims in Tennessee, visit the USAttorneys website.