The Relationship Between Insomnia and Fatal Car Accidents
The Sleep Research Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a study that tested 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. They discovered that people who reported experiencing all three symptoms had almost three times more chance to suffer a fatal injury than those with no symptoms. Further, people who had difficulty falling asleep had more than twice the chance 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 over 1,000 fatalities every year. Exhausted people 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 cause fatal car accidents. 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.
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