Drowsy Driving More Common Than Previously Believed

Dec. 5, 2012

Drowsy driving is a major highway safety concern in the United States today. In fact, reports show an estimated 6,800 people are killed every year as a result of falling asleep at the wheel, making fatigue the second leading cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents. ABC News recently discussed new research that is showing drowsy driving may be a more common occurrence than we think.

Researchers conducted testing on a study participant who had been awake for 36 consecutive hours. The participant was put behind the wheel of a vehicle to monitor brain wave and eye activity, and the findings were astounding. During an hourlong drive on a closed course, the participant fell asleep behind the wheel more than 20 times for a few seconds at a time.

These short bursts of sleep, known as micro-sleeps, are an involuntary reaction and normally last between three and six seconds. While the time frame is small, these micro-sleeps can be just enough time to allow for a serious crash to occur. During the study, the participant drove off of the road during a micro-sleep, which could have proven deadly in a real-world situation.

The Denver Personal Injury Lawyers with the McDivitt Law Firm believe that getting enough rest is the only way that motorists can combat this preventable danger. To help prevent a Denver Car Accident, drivers should have at least eight hours of rest before driving a vehicle.

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