The Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a study that evaluated how having the symptoms of insomnia can increase the odds of experiencing a fatal accident. Participants in the study had to report whether they had experienced any of the following:

  •        Difficulty falling asleep
  •        Problems getting restful sleep
  •        Trouble staying asleep

Researchers then followed the participants over a lengthy period of time. They discovered that people who reported experiencing all three symptoms were almost three times more likely to suffer a fatal injury than people who had no signs of insomnia. Further, people who had difficulty falling asleep were more than twice as likely to lose their lives in a fatal accident than people who had no trouble getting to sleep.

Drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is responsible for more than 1,000 fatalities every year. People who are exhausted tend to have slower reaction times and an inattention to their surroundings. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, insomniacs are far more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than people who are rested. In the study, 9 percent of people admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel and 4.1 percent said their exhaustion led to a car accident.

Experts recommend pulling over at the first hint of drowsy driving in order to avoid a tragedy.