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Drowsy driving is a danger on Los Angeles streets and highways

There are any number of things that could interfere with a good night's sleep, whether it is worrying about life's problems, a snoring partner, a crying baby or simply working until late into the night. People in Los Angeles who get too little sleep may feel like come morning they have no choice but to get up and go about their day, as tired as they are. One daily activity they may not think twice about, even when drowsy, is driving. But, getting behind the wheel of a car after getting too little sleep can be just as dangerous as driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 846 deaths on the road were related to drowsy driving. This number has been relatively consistent over the past 10 years. Between the years of 2005 and 2009, approximately 83,000 motor vehicle accidents annually were related to drowsy driving. This includes nearly 886 fatal accidents nationwide.

Drowsy driving accidents often have some similarities. Drowsy driving accidents most often take place between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., or they take place late in the afternoon. These are both times in which a person's internal "body clock" (also known as the circadian rhythm) falls. Drowsy driving accidents can take place on highways or on rural roads.

Drowsy driving is a serious problem on our roadways. Many people may underestimate just how dangerous it can be. However, as this shows, it is responsible for many accidents and deaths each year. Therefore, Los Angeles residents should avoid driving without having an adequate amount of sleep.

Source: NHTSA, "Research on Drowsy Driving," Accessed Nov. 28, 2016

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