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New Study Explains in Numbers the Risks of Drowsy Driving

December 17, 2016

Common Practice of Driving Without Enough Sleep Can Lead to Car Collisions

Whether out of ignorance or necessity, many Americans choose to drive without being adequately rested. A 2005 study from the National Sleep Foundation claimed that over 150 million adult drivers (or about sixty percent of adult drivers) have operated a vehicle when they were "drowsy." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also showed that about 20 percent of all fatal traffic collisions in the country involve drowsy driving. Yet despite these dire statistics, individual drivers continue to drive without first getting sufficient rest.

A new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shed new light on the dangerousness of this practice. According to the report, a driver who operates a vehicle after having slept for only five or six hours is twice as likely to be involved in a car accident as a driver who slept for the recommended seven to nine hours. What is more, the risk of a crash increases if the driver gets less sleep. According to the report, a driver who has only slept for four to five hours before getting behind the wheel is four times as likely to be involved in a crash.

Solutions to Drowsy Driving

Collisions and crashes caused by drowsy driving do not have to occur, but drivers often find excuses to drive without sufficient rest. "My destination is only a few more miles away," they may reason. Or drivers may underestimate just how tired and impaired they are and instead determine that they are capable of continuing on with their journeys. These mistakes and lapses in judgment lead to drowsy driving crashes. These are crashes that can be prevented by, among others:

• Getting seven to nine hours of sleep in a 24-hour period before driving;
• Taking a nap of ten to twenty minutes every few hours, especially if one is driving and feels drowsy or fatigued;
• Taking frequent breaks by stopping at a convenience store or safe location, getting out of the car, and walking around every few hours. Eating and/or drinking may also help keep one awake (drivers should avoid drinking alcohol or consuming foods or beverages likely to make them more tired, though. Drivers should also beware of consuming too much sugar, which can lead to increased fatigue once the effects of the sugar have dissipated).

The fact that easy solutions and preventative measures to drowsy driving exist means that drivers who choose to forego sleep and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle are not only endangering their own lives but the lives of others as well. Not only this, drowsy drivers are putting themselves at legal risk: They may be found negligent or reckless and can even be held responsible for the injuries and losses they cause to victims of the crash.

Contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law Today to Discuss Your Case

Our knowledgeable and resourceful legal team analyzes the facts and circumstances of each case: where there is evidence of drowsy driving that led to an err in judgment or driving mistake and subsequent crash that injured our clients, we work hard to hold the driver accountable for the harm he or she caused. Our law firm has over 39 years of experience in representing car accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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Category: Accident News

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.