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Which drivers are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel?

There's nothing worse than falling asleep behind the wheel in terms of car accidents. Even drunk driving and texting while driving are less risky behaviors than continuing to drive your automobile with heavy-lidded eyes.

Nevertheless, countless drivers take to the roads in an extremely fatigued state, causing thousands of fatal crashes every year.

Which drivers are most at risk of falling sleep?

Some drivers are more at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel than others, and these motorists in particular need to be on high alert to prevent fatigued and sleepy driving crashes. Here's who's most at risk of sleepy driving:

  • Anyone who hasn't slept at least seven hours the previous night
  • Commercial drivers who spend their days – or nights – operating a vehicle for long periods of time
  • Shift workers who have to drive to and from home after a night shift
  • Individuals suffering from any variety of sleep disorders like sleep apnea
  • People who regularly use medication to fall asleep, or use medication with the side effect of drowsiness
  • Anyone who has been taking illicit drugs or alcohol
  • People driving across country on a long road trip
  • People with medical conditions that make them feel fatigued

Was sleep-deprived driving the cause of your vehicle accident?

Victims of car accidents should never forget to consider the possibility that sleepy driving may have caused their crashes. If sufficient evidence exists, and a plaintiff can prove in court that sleepy driving was to blame for his or her injuries, then the at-fault driver may be financially liable to pay for damages relating to medical care, pain and suffering, disabilities, lost income and more.

Source: drowsydriving.org, "Facts and Stats," accessed April 20, 2018

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