No matter if you are a truck driver, healthcare professional, graveyard shift worker, or a parent with young children, most Americans are sleep deprived. Indeed, people across the United States not only need more sleep but likely need better quality sleep. Sleep deprivation affects everyone – especially on America’s roads and highways. Indeed, car accidents caused by drowsy driving are more common than one would expect. This is probably because driving while tired does not have the same negative view as does texting while driving or getting behind the wheel under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Still, drowsy driving can be as dangerous – and deadly.
How Lack of Sleep Affects Driving
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that drowsy driving is much more dangerous – eight times more dangerous – than what was previously believed. While previous estimates by the federal government suggested that drowsy driving was the cause of only one to two percent of car accidents in the United States, the AAA research concluded that nearly 10 percent of all accidents involve drowsy driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 35 percents of U.S. drivers get less sleep than the recommended minimum of seven hours per day.
Drowsiness typically causes the following problems in drivers:
- Difficulties in being able to focus attention on the road or highway;
- Slower reaction times than usual when it’s necessary to suddenly brake or steer; and
- Higher likelihood of making poor decisions when behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, while the general public overwhelmingly agrees that drowsy driving is not acceptable and poses a risk to safety on the road, the CDC estimates that one in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month.
Common Car Accident Injuries in Colorado
While every car accident is as unique as the parties involved, there are common injuries that Pueblo, Colorado car accident victims suffer. These include:
- Whiplash – muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues are strained as a result of sudden and fast movement due to the collision, causing whiplash;
- Head injuries – these can cause immediate damage and long-lasting complications depending on the severity of brain injury, including headaches, sleep problems, motor skill deficiencies, and cognitive difficulties;
- Broken bones – light or even moderate impact from a car crash can break bones, which can be quite painful and may require long periods of recovery;
- Scrapes and cuts – loose projectiles or impact on parts of the vehicle can cause scrapes and cuts that are painful and can be a risk of infection and further medical complications;
- Herniated discs – this happens when vertebrae in the spine shift out of place or rupture as a result of the impact, causing chronic pain and possible need for surgery;
- Internal bleeding – a dangerous condition if not treated immediately, internal bleeding can cause serious damage to organs and result in medical complications; and
- Emotional distress – whether post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, or other accident-related psychological issues, not all car accidents cause just physical injuries.
Car Accident Attorneys in Colorado Springs
Contact one of the experienced Colorado Springs car accident lawyers at the Springs Law Group today to learn about your options under Colorado law. We will fight for monetary compensation on the behalf that may be available to you.
Jacob Kimball is a Civil Litigation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law, and has been practicing law for 13 years now. Jacob Kimball firmly believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience here.