New study warns of drowsy driving risk

In a city like Los Angeles, it is easy to lose sleep. Many people have to work late nights or overnights, whether in medicine, law enforcement, transportation or entertainment, and there are many businesses that rarely or never close. Those workers and their customers may have disrupted sleep habits that can lead to their never truly feeling well-rested.

Many people dismiss these feelings of fatigue and exhaustion, thinking they can make up the lost sleep some time later. They trust a cup of coffee or a soda may be all they need to drive home. That can be a fatal mistake. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that if you get six hours or less of sleep, you are twice as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash as someone who sleeps seven or more hours.

NPR highlights the story of a nurse who was on her way home from the hospital one morning after working an overnight shift. She felt very tired, but thought because she only lived a few miles away, she could "force" herself to stay away for the short drive. She was wrong.

She nodded off momentarily while driving, crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into another vehicle. She was lucky, in that she survived the crash and did not kill the driver of the other vehicle. Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous.

But even though she has recovered from most of her injuries, she still feels the effect of the crash on her health with reoccurring headaches. This is an important point. Even if you survive and your injuries appear minor, you should work with an attorney who has dealt with these types of personal injury cases and can help you before you settle your case. 

If you settle too early with an insufficient medical exam, you may later find medical issues that are not covered by your settlement agreement, you would not be able to receive compensation, despite some of those problems creating a lifelong effect on your health.

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