Study: Sleepy Drivers as Dangerous as Drunk Drivers

For years, studies have confirmed the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. But, now, a new study reveals that there is a state of driving nearly as dangerous as drunk driving: sleepy driving.

The study, which, according to Reuters Health, was conducted by Dr. Nicholas Moore at the Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Bordeaux in France and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reveals that drivers who are impaired by alcohol or sleepy are at least twice as likely to cause a motor-vehicle accident when compared to drivers who are neither drunk nor tired.

The study reviewed the circumstances of 679 drivers who remained in the hospital for at least 24 hours following motor-vehicle accidents from 2007 to 2009. According to the results of the study, factors such as being a “young driver” (18 to 29 years old), driving under the influence of alcohol and being sleepy are indicators of an increased risk of being involved in a car accident.

Missing four hours of sleep, according to Christopher Drake of Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center, has the equivalent effect of drinking a six-pack of beer for drivers. Drivers that miss an entire night’s sleep, Drake notes, are as impaired as drunk drivers with a blood alcohol content of .19.

Like drunk drivers, sleepy drivers can cause very serious accidents resulting in whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and death. Sleepy drivers that cause accidents and injuries can be held responsible for their negligent actions through personal-injury lawsuits. Through a personal-injury lawsuit, an injured person can seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a fatigued or intoxicated driver, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your legal options.