Drowsy driving a common cause of St. Louis car accidents

Drowsy driving a common cause of St. Louis car accidents

Our St. Louis car accident attorneys know that sleep and sleep-related car accidents are among the most under-rated and under-reported safety issues facing drivers today.

One recent survey found that 25 percent of Americans report not getting enough sleep, while another 10 percent habitually drive while tired. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sleep-deprivation and sleep-related disorders have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, and motor vehicle and machinery-related accidents.

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In fact, the CDC reports that drowsy driving has been linked to 100,000 car accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1,500 car accident fatalities each year nationwide. Based on a 2009 Sleep in American survey, it is estimated that one in three drivers have driven while impaired by drowsiness within the last month and another 20 percent of drivers admit to having fallen asleep behind the wheel.

We urge you to speak to family and friends about the dangers this week during Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in six fatal car accidents, one in eight car accidents involving injury and one in fourteen car accidents that required a vehicle to be towed involved a drowsy driver.

“Many of us tend to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving,” said Kathleen Marvaso, vice president, AAA Public Affairs. “Unfortunately, too many drivers have adopted the ‘I’m tired, but I can make it’ mentality, often to their own peril or to the peril of others.”
The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips to help drivers avoid drowsy driving and recognize signs they may be falling asleep:

~ Normalize your sleep schedule with the goal of getting 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep daily. Create a sleep-friendly environment – cool, dark, quiet and free of distractions.

~ While consuming caffeine can temporarily reduce feelings of drowsiness, a better short-term fix while on the road is pulling over for a 15 to 20 minute cat nap. On longer trips, plan to stop every 100 miles or two hours.

~ Signs that a driver may be falling asleep include: difficulty focusing, rubbing your eyes repeatedly, wandering thoughts, literally nodding off, lane drifting, rolling down the windows or turning the radio up, fidgeting and poor judgment.

St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney Ryan R. Cox knows that being involved in serious car accident can be both physically and emotionally devastating, especially if a child is involved. If you or a family member has been injured in a St. Louis car accident, we have the knowledge and experience to help you. Contact us online or by phone at 1-636-946-6886 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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