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Study: Insomnia may play a large role in car accident fatalities

A new study discovered that many people who suffer from insomnia are at a greater risk of being involved in a fatal car accident.

From drunk driving to distracted driving, there are many common causes of car accidents in Connecticut. However, a new study suggests that insomnia may also play a large role in motor vehicle collisions. According to PsychCentral, this study discovered that those who suffered from insomnia were 2.8 times more likely to pass away from a serious injury. Additionally, those who had a hard time falling asleep were twice as likely to die from an injury they sustained in a car accident when compared with those who did not exhibit insomnia symptoms.

How the study was conducted

Researchers analyzed survey data they collected from 54,399 women and men who were between the ages of 20 and 89. Of the participants, 169 died from falling, 57 died in motor vehicle accidents and 277 died from an unintentional fatal injury during the study's 13-year follow-up period.

What is insomnia?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is a sleep disorder that causes people to have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. This occurs even when an environment conducive to sleeping is established. Those who have this condition usually experience the following symptoms:

  • Consistent levels of low energy
  • Problems concentrating throughout the course of the day
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Decreased performance while performing work or school-related duties

Insomnia can be categorized as either acute or chronic. The NSF states that those with acute insomnia will only suffer from this sleep disorder for a short period of time and that it is usually brought on because of different life occurrences. For instance, a person may have a hard time sleeping after receiving bad news from a loved one.

Comparatively, those with chronic insomnia experience sleep disruptions at least three nights a week for a period of three months or more. Chronic insomnia can develop when a person suffers from a clinical disorder, performs shift work or if he or she has unhealthy sleeping habits.

How many people suffer from this sleep disorder?

Many people in the U.S., including here in Connecticut, have insomnia. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that between 50 and 70 million adults in the U.S. have this sleep disorder.

When Connecticut drivers who do not get enough sleep attempt to operate a vehicle, not only do they endanger their own life, but they also endanger the lives of others on the road with them. If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, reach out to Miller, Rosnick, D'Amico, August & Butler, P.C. to determine what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury