As hard-working Americans, we are constantly reminded of the need to get the recommended amount of sleep. We know sleep affects our work quality and health, but is it more far-reaching than that? A new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that sleep also affects our driving ability.
Part of our culture
The report states that drivers who get only five to six hours of sleep are twice as likely to crash as those who get seven or more hours of sleep. The effects of sleep deprivation on the ability to operate a vehicle can be just as dangerous as a driver who is legally intoxicated. Drivers who sleep for only four to five hours per night are four times as likely to get in a crash, which is the same rate as drunken drivers.
20 percent of fatal accidents last year involved a drowsy driver. In total, fatal crashes were up 7.2 percent from 2014. Today, one in three people admit to not getting enough sleep in a night. Chronic sleep deprivation appears ingrained into American culture.
Hit close to home
This habit is evident in a claims study by the Progressive Corporation that shows 77 percent of accidents occur within 15 miles of home and 23 percent of accidents occur within one mile of home. Just one percent of accidents occurred more than 50 miles from home.
We are perhaps less aware of the dangers close to home because a drive to work or the grocery store is just part of the routine. By committing to a routine or seven or more hours of sleep, we can reduce the rate of crashes so close to home.
Local problem, local help
You might take peace of mind in knowing that care can be sought close to home for injuries to you and your family. The car can be replaced, but how will you and your family know that you are receiving the proper care and compensation for your injuries?
Your insurance company may offer you a settlement, but with the rising costs of healthcare, will it be enough? How can you be sure that the driver who hit you is held responsible for his or her actions?
Follow the guidance of a personal injury attorney to ensure that you do not make a mistake in dealing with the aftermath of an accident. With the right information related to car crashes, you can make sure you aren't caught asleep at the wheel.