Why Sleep-Deprived Driving is Likely to Cause Accidents

Sleep-Deprived Driving

Car accidents happen every day for a variety of reasons. No matter the cause, they can be life-altering or even deadly. Understanding the causes, however, can help drivers to be a little safer when they hit the road. One common cause of car accidents that many might not think of is driving while tired and sleep deprived.

Lack of Sleep can Increase Risk as Much as Drunk Driving

It might be surprising to many motorists, but driving tired can be at least as dangerous as driving intoxicated. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that driving with five or six hours of sleep in a 24-hour period instead of a minimum of seven hours can double the risk of a car accident. The public has known the risks of drunk driving for some time. It is time to start taking sleep-deprived driving more seriously.

Signs of Dangerous Sleep Deprivation May Not be Noticeable

One problem with driving tired is that although it does impair the driver’s ability, the impairment may not be immediately identifiable. Falling asleep at the wheel can be deadly. In some cases, a driver may notice things such as difficulty keeping their eyes open or trouble focusing on details. However, research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that more than half of those who fall asleep while driving do not have any of these warning signs. This is another reason why getting behind the wheel without sufficient sleep is so dangerous.

Tips to Avoid Dangerous Drowsy Driving

There are serious risks associated with drowsy driving. There are also many potential contributing factors. By following these important safety tips, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death resulting from tired driving.

  • Travel during normal waking hours. For long drives, it may be tempting to drive all the way through to save time. Driving all night, however, can be very dangerous.
  • Take breaks on long trips. It is a good idea to rest every two hours or 100 miles to refresh and be alert.
  • Stop driving at the first sign of sleepiness. Drivers may not know how much drowsy driving impairs their driving ability. It is best to not take risks when becoming drowsy behind the wheel.
  • Be cautious when driving at night, especially after working all day.
  • When possible, travel with another adult who can share in the driving to help prevent fatigue.
  • Be aware of how medications can affect drowsiness, and exercise caution before driving after taking medicine. Drugged driving is a significant safety risk even more so than drunk driving.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Work with Victims of Car Accidents Caused by Sleep-Deprived Drivers


Car accidents are a very serious matter, and victims need a team on their side to get the compensation they deserve. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King will advocate for car accident victims. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.