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Sleep deprivation makes drivers dangerous

Photo of Adrienne Waters Ogle

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Did you get enough sleep last night? The odds are that you didn't. In today's society, getting a full night's sleep feels like a luxury.

The experts say that adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night in order to function properly the next day. If you are one of the lucky ones who gets this much sleep, you may be alert enough to watch out for the drivers who didn't and are sharing the road with you.

Most people admit they have driven while tired

In 2018, AAA conducted a survey regarding drowsy driving. While most people agree that driving when you are too sleepy to do so safely is dangerous, nearly one-third admit to doing so at least once during the month before the survey. Making matters worse is the fact that some people who use sleep aids fail to follow the directions. Instead of making sure they get seven to eight hours of sleep to avoid being groggy, they get less than recommended and then drive.

Sometimes, you have no choice but to drive even though you didn't get a good night's sleep, but that doesn't make it any less of a hazard to yourself and others. In fact, if you went 24 hours without sleep, your ability to drive safely would be the same as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .10.

As you know, this is over Tennessee's legal limit of .08. More than likely, you would never get behind the wheel with that much alcohol in your system. AAA discovered that around 9.5 percent of all accidents involve a drowsy driver. However, the statistics on this vary widely.

The other driver was too drowsy to drive

Even when you do what you can to remain alert and responsive behind the wheel, other drivers may not. If you suffer injuries due to the negligence of a drowsy driver, you may be able to pursue compensation for the damages you sustained as a result of the accident. It may take some investigation and research to find the appropriate evidence needed to pursue such a claim.

Often times, you will need to go back one or more days before the crash to assert a claim of sleep deprivation, which may not be an easy task on your own. You may find that enlisting some legal assistance will significantly improve your chances of a successful claim.

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