Why California drivers need adequate sleep

According to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the odds of a car crash double for drivers who sleep five or six hours per 24-hour period as opposed to those who get seven or more. Those who sleep only four or five hours per 24-hour period are four times more likely to get in a crash, and that is similar to the crash rates of drunk drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 35,092 people died in vehicle crashes in the United States in 2015. That was a 7.2 percent increase from 2014. Research has shown that roughly 20 percent of fatal U.S. car crashes involve a drowsy driver. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that one in every three Americans do not get enough sleep at night.

In addition to an increased risk of getting into an accident, lack of sleep may be linked to weight gain and depression. It is recommended that an adult get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, and drivers are urged to not drive if they haven't slept at least seven hours in the previous 24. If an individual only slept five hours the previous night, it may be possible to sleep for two hours during the day to make up for that lost time.

While it doesn't get as much attention as texting and driving, sleep deprivation can be just as dangerous for passengers in the drowsy driver's car as well as occupants of other vehicles if a collision is the result. People who have been injured in this type of accident may want to meet with an attorney to determine how to proceed in attempting to seek compensation for their losses.

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