Everyone is familiar with how dangerous it is to drive while under the influence or drive while using a cell phone. These activities have such negative connotations in society because we know they remove the driver’s ability to focus and control the vehicle, thus increasing the risk of dangerous accidents. So, what about when people drive while extremely fatigued?
Not only does it make logical sense, but reports have also supported the idea that driving while tired increases the risk of traffic accidents. People who suffer from sleep apnea have difficulty breathing, which keeps them from sleeping through the night or achieving deep sleep. Therefore, uncreated sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of causing an accident while driving.
Sleep Deprivation and Traffic Accident Studies
In recent years, there have been many studies that have researched the correlation between tiredness and driving accidents. Following 4,000 drivers over the course of five years, researchers in Spain found sleepy drivers to experience six times as many collisions as drivers that were not sleepy.
The San Francisco CHEST 2000 study specifically studies people that had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The study found that patients who were waiting to undergo a sleep study to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis experienced collisions at a higher rate than those who were receiving treatment.