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Dangers of Operating a Vehicle While Sleep Deprived


Getting enough sleep is key to staying healthy, and a good night’s rest supports a person’s ability to make clear, logical decisions and assess environments for risks. But because people have busy schedules, including work responsibilities and family commitments, it is common for individuals in Florida and around the country to not get the sleep they need to be fully rested.

There are real dangers to sleep-deprived drivers operating vehicles on Florida streets and highways. While a person may initially believe that there is no harm in driving drowsy, they may find themselves involved in severe accidents as a result. If you believe your accident injury is connected to a tired driver, talk to a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer about your claim options.

4 Risks for Tired Drivers

While operating a vehicle can feel like second nature to seasoned drivers, it actually requires concentration, quick reflexes, and the ability to make split-second decisions. This is why sleep-deprived drivers are so risky, because when a person is tired critical skills are impaired. Four sleep deprivation risks include the following.

  • Reaction times are reduced. Sleepiness results in slower reaction times, making it difficult to respond promptly when there are unexpected changes in road conditions.
  • Impaired judgment. Drivers who are extremely tired may struggle to make sound decisions, and when poor judgment calls are executed, accidents can result.
  • Attention and focus decreases. When individuals lack sleep, it can be difficult to focus and pay attention, increasing the likelihood of a driver missing important signals failing to notice hazards.
  • Microsleeps and nodding off. In situations where a person has not slept at all for an extended period, the sleep-deprived driver may have microsleeps, which are brief moments of sleep that can last only a few seconds, or they may nod off, fully falling asleep behind the wheel.

When a drowsy driver experiences any of these accident risks and there is a traffic accident as a result, legal liability can come into play. Drowsy driving can be incredibly dangerous and lead to serious legal consequences, injured parties have the right to pursue a personal injury claim.

Prevent Drowsy Driving to Keep Roads Safe

There are steps all drivers can take to raise awareness and adopt safer driving practices. For example, you can prioritize getting an adequate amount of sleep before embarking on a long journey and be attentive to signals of exhaustion. So, if you find yourself yawning frequently or having trouble focusing, pull over and delay your trip.

It can also be helpful to share driving responsibilities with another driver, so each person has time to rest. But if you have taken all the steps you could and were still involved in a drowsy-driver accident, consult with a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer to work towards a just resolution.

What are your recovery options following an accident involving a sleep-deprived driver? Talk to the attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez if you were injured in an accident in Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, or Pompano Beach. To learn more, call 561-660-9421.

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