Sleep deprivation continues to be a problem for many Minnesota residents. Going without quality sleep makes it a challenge to function throughout the day, especially behind the wheel. The inability to remain alert and pay adequate attention to the road makes drowsy driving a continued source of car accidents.

People who do shift work, suffer from untreated sleep disorders and take certain medications may find it even more difficult to overcome sleep deprivation. Any Minnesota parent also knows a thing or two about not getting adequate sleep. All of these circumstances and more make drivers more of a danger to themselves and others on the road.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals the extent of the problem. Research attributes somewhere around 100,000 accidents each year to drowsy driving across the United States. Injuries suffered as a result of those crashes reach up to 71,000 per year and around 1,500 people lose their lives. The data also indicates that men up through their 30s tend to be involved in a large portion of these crashes, which often take place between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Even diligent drivers cannot always avoid drowsy drivers. The resulting car accidents can result in severe injuries, high medical costs, lost income and more. Fortunately, victims may pursue restitution through the filing of personal injury claims. Sleep deprivation could provide the evidence needed to prove negligence on the part of the driver deemed at fault, which could lead to an award of damages seen in similar cases.