Posted on Nov 07, 2013

Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of daytime sleepiness, and a new study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who suffer from sleep apnea are three times more likely to get into an auto accident as the rest of the population.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that causes a decrease in breathing while people are asleep, because of a blocked or narrowed airway. This obstruction causes them to wake up multiple times during the night in order to breathe, sometimes happening hundreds of times a night.

A person might not even realize they are waking up that many times during a night, but this poor-quality sleep leads to excessive daytime sleepiness and increased chance of car accidents. Car accidents caused by drowsy driving account for more than $48 billion in medical costs each year.

Furthermore, drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. A typical drowsy driving crash occurs late at night or early morning, occurs on a high-speed road, and is a serious crash where a single vehicle leaves the roadway.

Below are a few of the most common signs that a driver is too tired to sit behind the wheel. If you experience any or all of these signs, you may be at risk of causing a car accident.

  • You yawn frequently.

  • You are unable to keep your eyes open.

  • You catch yourself "nodding off" and have trouble keeping your head up.

  • Your thoughts wander and take your focus off the road.

  • You can't remember driving the last few miles.

  • You are impatient, in a hurry, and grouchy.

  • You end up too close to cars in front of you.

  • You miss road signs or drive past your turn.


If you’ve been in a car accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. Call us today at 816-842-7100 or toll-free at 888-712-1930 to speak with an attorney. Or you can click here to email us and schedule your free consultation.

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City