Everyone knows that your driving is impaired when someone drinks alcohol and drives. Drunk driving accounts for 28 percent of all traffic related deaths in the United States. But new evidence shows that driving fatigued can be every bit as dangerous as driving drunk, and some officials believe that it should be treated in much the same way, as a negligent driver.
In fact, 20 percent of traffic related deaths in America occur due to driver fatigue. That’s only eight percent fewer than drunk drivers. A new study done by AAA could be evidence that missing too much sleep can be as bad or worse than driving under the influence.
The AAA Study
The AAA Foundation for Traffic and Safety did an in depth study to discover just how much sleep you can lose before you become a danger on the road. They found that people who do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep are at increased risk for an accident. Missing only one or two hours of sleep doubles your risk of causing an accident. When you lose up to three or four hours of sleep, your risk of causing an accident increases by 400 percent. Their study further showed that getting less than five hours of sleep was the same as driving drunk.
What It Means
The bottom line is that if you intentionally drive fatigued, you could be held liable for any accident that you cause. In fact, you could be held as a negligent party to any accident, even if you were not the main cause of the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, we can help. Contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.