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Drowsy Driving Causes In Denver

Drowsy Driving Causes In Denver

Driving while tired, drowsy or fatigued is a serious mistake that can have devastating consequences. All drivers have a responsibility not to operate a motor vehicle if they are feeling too drowsy to do so safely. Understanding the most common causes of drowsy driving can help spread awareness and prevent related auto accidents.

How Common Are Drowsy Driving Accidents?

Tired drivers are a significant problem on Colorado’s roads. They often cannot pay enough attention to the road or react quickly enough to changing roadway situations to drive carefully. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 693 deaths related to drowsy driving in 2022; however, the actual amount is likely higher since it is often difficult to confirm fatigue as a cause.

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a relatively simple yet common cause of drowsy driving. The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep a day for good mental and physical health. Failing to get enough sleep can contribute to deep feelings of drowsiness that affect a driver’s ability to safely control a motor vehicle.

Sleep Apnea and Other Medical Conditions

Medical conditions and disorders that interrupt sleep or decrease sleep quality can make a driver drowsy during waking hours. One example is sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts breathing – and, by extension, quality rest – during the sleep cycle. Other examples are restless leg syndrome and insomnia. Undiagnosed and untreated sleep conditions are more likely to result in someone driving while fatigued.

Irregular Sleep Schedules

Another issue that can result in a tired driver is an irregular or unpredictable sleep schedule. Those who sleep odd hours or go long periods of time without sleeping are more likely to experience levels of drowsiness and fatigue while driving that are dangerous. Strange sleeping patterns can impair an individual’s alertness, reaction times and ability to focus on the road.

Drug or Alcohol Consumption

Driving while under the influence of certain substances, including over-the-counter and prescription medications, can increase the odds of drowsiness and fatigue. Many medications, including cold medicines and antihistamines, list drowsiness as a potential side effect. Driving after consuming any type of drug or alcohol can result in a driver falling asleep behind the wheel.

Violated Hours-of-Service Regulations

Sleep deprivation and drowsy driving are especially common among commercial drivers. Those who drive for work often contend with risk factors such as long drives, driving alone, boredom, medical conditions and sleep apnea, overnight shifts, odd sleeping schedules, and poor-quality sleep in sleeper berths.

These issues lead to heightened odds of truck accidents caused by drowsy drivers. For this reason, the federal government has passed hours-of-service regulations restricting the number of on-duty driving hours a commercial driver can complete without taking a rest break. Violating this law can greatly increase the odds of a drowsy driving truck accident.

Seeking Compensation From a Drowsy Driver in Colorado

If you get involved in a car accident in Denver and believe the other driver is at fault for driving while drowsy or falling asleep behind the wheel, contact a Denver car accident attorney for help with your claim. An attorney can investigate the crash to search for evidence of driver fatigue. Then, your lawyer can present this evidence to a car insurance company to fight for fair compensation on your behalf.