Sleep apnea patients more likely to be involved in road accidents

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2016 | Car Accidents

Many New York car accidents are caused by drivers that are not fully focused on the road. A lack of sleep can result in an inability to focus and sleepiness while driving. A recent study reveals that drivers with sleep apnea are more likely to drive erratically than those without the disorder. Sleep apnea causes disrupted breathing while a person is sleeping at night, thereby causing sleepiness during the day. Falling asleep behind the wheel has caused numerous car accidents.

The study, conducted by St. James’ University Hospital, involved 129 adults with untreated sleep apnea and 79 adults without sleep apnea. The participants completed a driving questionnaire and were asked to use a driving simulator. The study revealed that those with sleep apnea were more likely to report feeling sleepy or falling asleep while driving. Only 31 percent of the drivers with sleep apnea passed the simulated driving tests, while 53 percent of drivers without the disorder passed. Erratic driving, especially lane deviation, was one of the main problems for those with sleep apnea.

The results of the study are not too surprising, as statistics show that drivers with untreated sleep apnea are two to six times more likely to be involved in an accident on the road than other drivers. It can be difficult to assess the risk, which is why an objective test is needed to determine which sleep apnea drivers are more likely to crash their vehicles.

Falling asleep behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as drunk driving or driving while distracted. Many people are injured due to negligence and irresponsibility behind the wheel. If you have been injured in a car accident involving a negligent driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them for damages.

Source: CBS News, “Sleep disorder may be linked to danger on the road,” Robert Preidt, Sept. 7, 2016