New Study Shows CPAPs Could Help Reduce Charleston Car Accidents


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According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. Aside from the busy lives most Americans lead, between 50 and 70-million people have a sleep-wakefulness disorder. Although fatigue wracks all kinds of havoc in peoples' lives, a recent study shows that people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are 2.5-times more likely to have a car accident than an average person. Exhaustion Affects a Large Portion of the Population The CDC says that nearly 40% of people report having unintentionally falling asleep during the day in the past month. The age group least likely to nod off includes those aged 35-44, with approximately 34% of people admitting to it. Conversely, nearly 45% of those 65 and older admitted to falling asleep accidentally. Even more alarming, is the number of people who admit they've done it while behind the wheel. People ages 25-34 reported they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the prior month over 7% of the time. Drowsy Driving is as Bad as Drunk Driving It's clear that there are a lot of fatigued people behind the wheel, and studies now show that it's as bad as driving drunk. Those who have missed between 20 and 25 hours of sleep are just as impaired as a person who has a blood-alcohol content of 0.10%. Aside from the risk of falling asleep, fatigue can reduce reaction times and cause issues with comprehension. There's a Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Car Accident Risk People who have obstructive sleep apnea might not even be aware of it. However, they certainly feel the daily effects of the sleep disorder. Others in the home have probably noted one major symptom of apnea as well- snoring. Although those who have it may sleep a full night, the disorder alters their breathing patterns, causing them to wake or shift sleep cycles prematurely. This inability to achieve deep, restful, sleep, causes severe daytime drowsiness, which leads to decreased cognitive abilities and more auto wrecks. The good news is, a breathing machine, called a CPAP, can negate the issue and reduce overall risk. There's Also Hope for the Rest of Us Not everyone who drives drowsy has sleep apnea, though. If you're just fatigued from normal activity, experts recommend getting an extra hour or two of sleep. New technologies are also being incorporated into vehicles, which can help alert drivers if they're dozing off. Drowsiness detection systems often track eye movement and the position of the car, and then warn the driver using audio, visual, and even physical alerts.

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If you've been injured by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Courts routinely award reparations for medical expenses, damage to vehicles, other losses, and their subsequent costs. If you'd like a free consultation, please contact us using our online form. You may also speak with one of our attorneys right away by calling 1(800)610-2546.

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