Colorado has the Third-Highest Number of Sleep-Related Traffic Fatalities

woman yawning in side view mirror | Colorado has the Third-Highest Number of Sleep-Related Traffic Fatalities

A recent study indicates Colorado has the third-highest number of sleep-related traffic fatalities.

Released in December, a study performed by Sleep Junkie examined six years of deadly car accidents across the U.S. They discovered that one out of 25 adult drivers have fallen asleep while behind the wheel.

They further determined six percent of fatalities on Colorado’s roads are sleep-related. Only Wyoming and Vermont had more, with 8.6 percent and 6.8 percent respectively.

The study showed Highway 285 and Interstate 76 are two of the most dangerous roads in regards to sleep-related traffic fatalities. In fact, among highways, the stretch of U.S. 285 from Texas through New Mexico and Colorado was determined to be the single most dangerous road with 18.09 percent of the traffic fatalities being attributed to drowsy drivers.

The second most deadly roadway is the portion of Interstate 76 from Denver to southwest Nebraska. Drowsy drivers there are responsible for 11.54 percent of traffic deaths, according to the study.

Interstate 37 in southern Texas had the greatest volume of sleep-related traffic deaths at 18.28 percent.

The portion of Interstate 25 that stretches from Wyoming to New Mexico and through Colorado ranks fourth among dangerous interstates with 9.97 percent of deadly sleep-related traffic accidents.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 35,092 people were killed in car accidents in the United States last year. Twenty percent of the accidents that claimed those lives were caused by a drowsy driver.

To further understand the underlying problem, NHTSA compiled their National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey from data on police-reported crashes that required emergency medical services and/or at least one vehicle had to be towed away. Drivers involved in the crash were surveyed about how much sleep they had gotten in the past 24 hours.

Further Reading: The Link Between Truck Driver Health and Accident Risk

Data from this and other studies has shown, in general, Americans are not getting enough sleep. Besides staying awake behind the wheel, getting enough rest helps ward off weight gain and depression.

Not getting enough sleep, however, can have deadly consequences behind the wheel.

A recently released AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study suggests getting as little as 5 or 6 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period doubles a driver’s risk of being in a car accident over a driver who got 7 or more hours of sleep.

Additionally, the study showed the less sleep a driver has gotten, the more his or her risk of being in a car accident increases. Study drivers who only got 4 to 5 hours of sleep had a 4 times greater risk of crashing- similar to that of a drunk driver.

For drivers who start to feel drowsy, researchers suggest napping for 10-20 minutes every few hours of a long drive to help refresh you. And if you haven’t slept at all in the past 24 hours, you should never get behind the wheel.

Related FAQ: Do’s and Don’ts if You’ve Been in an Accident

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

Denver Car Accident Attorneys at the Family Run Law Firm of Paysinger Law, P.C.Car accidents are often serious and catastrophic accidents – especially when someone falls asleep at the wheel of the car. If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe the other driver’s negligence was to blame, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced and skilled Denver car accident lawyer. Contact the Denver attorneys at Paysinger Law, P.C. today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.




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