Study Finds Tired Doctors At Increased Risk For Car Crashes

Drivers often expect to encounter icy roads, construction zones and other hazards on our nation's roadways. Unfortunately, a new study released by experts with Mayo Clinic has found another danger driver's need to avoid: other drivers.

The study focused on medical professionals and found sleep deprived residents were at "significantly increased odds of reporting a motor vehicle incident" than the general population. These car accidents ranged from minor fender benders to more serious, sometimes fatal, crashes.

Dangers of drowsy driving

Those participating in the study stated they often worked thirty hours straight and would leave the hospital exhausted. Some admitted to entering their cars, turning on the ignition and falling asleep behind the wheel before even leaving the parking lot.

Additional studies find that doctors are not the only drivers operating vehicles on an insufficient amount of sleep. The Federal Highway Administration found commercial truck drivers and military members are also at an increased risk for involvement in a car crash due to drowsiness. In addition, The National Sleep Foundation found over twenty percent of American adults in the general population had at least one incident where they fell asleep while driving.

Drowsy driving is dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 crashes and 1,500 fatalities are connected to driver fatigue every year.

Accidents caused by drowsy drivers can fall into the body of law referred to as negligence. Negligent driving occurs when a person does not exercise reasonable care while operating a vehicle.

Determining negligence can be difficult. Courts often consider various factors, including driving above the speed limit, failing to obey traffic signs or failing to signal when turning.

Drowsy driving not the only danger

Additional forms of negligent driving can result in accidents. Examples include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Insufficient maintenance

Distracted driving can be caused by texting, attempting to eat while driving or talking on a cell phone.

Anyone who drives a vehicle is required to operate it with reasonable care. A driver may be held liable if he or she violates that expectation and causes an accident which injures another.

If you or a loved one is injured in a car crash caused by the negligence of another, compensation may be available to cover the cost medical and rehabilitative expenses. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights and remedies are protected.