When you woke up this morning, did you feel rested? If you are like many others here in Florida, you probably didn’t. Sleep tends to feel like more of a luxury these days. When it comes to the obligations of your life and sleep, the obligations may win out more than you want them to.
On those mornings that you didn’t sleep well the night before, an extra dose of caffeine may help you get through the day. At least, it helps as you make your morning commute to work. But, if you fall into certain groups that are more prone to drowsy driving, caffeine may not be enough to improve your ability to drive safely.
Sleep deprivation seems to plague these groups
Certain groups of people tend to have a higher risk of being sleep deprived, including the following:
- Commercial drivers, especially long-haul truck drivers, tend to suffer from fatigue to the point where it accounts for approximately 15% of truck crashes.
- People who work long hours, work the night shift and do other shift work increase their risk of accidents by six times. People whose shifts rotate or who work 60 hours or more a week are especially susceptible to accidents involving fatigue.
- People who suffer from untreated or undiagnosed sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea increase their risk of accidents by at least seven times.
- Business travelers who suffer from jet lag or drive a lot also experience an increased risk for accidents involving fatigue.
- Young people also experience an increased risk for fatigue-related crashes, especially if they are men under the age of 26.
Not everyone in these groups drives drowsy, but if you fall into one of these categories, you probably have a significant sleep deficit. One good night’s sleep may not be enough to make up for the sleep you miss on a regular basis, but it’s a good start.
Encountering a sleepy driver
Other people who fall into one or more of the above groups may not try to catch up on their sleep or take precautions before they drive. You could end up a victim of a drowsy driver in an accident you couldn’t have seen coming. If so, you could spend a substantial amount of time out of work as you recover from your injuries, which require expensive medical care.
It may be possible to pursue the compensation you need and deserve by filing a personal injury claim against the other driver. If successful, a Florida court may award you damages to help with your financial losses.