Posted: November 21, 2018

Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep for each 24 hour period. Failure to get adequate sleep increases risks for emotional duress, mental fatigue, memory and concentration problems, sexual dysfunction, obesity, and stress among other issues. Sleep deprivation can also result in increased risks for heart attack and stroke, hypertension, and diabetes.

Failure to get adequate sleep results in what somnologists (sleep doctors) call a “sleep deficit” over time. A sleep deficit cannot be made up with future sleep, but it will have an impact on mental and physical functioning until a full night’s sleep is restored. Even then, it can take the body some time to bounce back after prolonged periods of poor or inadequate sleep.

If you struggle with a sleeping disorder, it is advisable to contact a somnologist for treatment. Sleep deprivation can be deadly - for you and for others - making it important that you address the problem quickly.

Sleep Deprived Drivers

Sleep deprived drivers lack the mental attention and physical responsiveness of those who have had a full night’s sleep. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reports that, after 18 hours without sleep, our brains and bodies have the same mental and physical reaction time as someone with a BAC of .05. Extend that to 24 hours and the equivalent is a BAC of .10. 

In Indiana, .08 is legally drunk.

Driving with a BAC of .05 is dangerous. No more dangerous, however, than driving after 18 hours without sleep. The risks of causing a car accident are just as high for both groups and the consequences of these accidents are just as awful for victims. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drowsy driver, our South Bend personal injury lawyers can help. Use the contact form on this page or call us at 574-233-6035 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.


Identifying sleep deprivation as the cause of an accident is not always easy. The NHTSA reports that the scope of the problem is difficult to assess because sleep deprivation is not always considered, noting that, “Crash investigators can look for clues that drowsiness contributed to a crash, but these clues are not always identifiable or conclusive.”

When you are injured or a loved one is killed in a car accident, an investigation is needed to determine its cause. We can help reconstruct your accident to establish its cause and identify the liable parties, enabling us to work towards getting you the full compensation you deserve. 

For a complimentary review of your case, please call 574-233-6035 today. Located in South Bend, Gardner & Rans serves Notre Dame, Lydick, Woodland, Osceola, and all surrounding Indiana communities.