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Could my sleep apnea lead to a crash?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2022 | Car Accidents

Dealing with sleep apnea can make everyday life difficult. While you may have a treatment protocol from your physician, it may not be completely effective.

Sleep apnea can leave you exhausted, even if you slept for several hours. When it is time to get behind the wheel, you could face an increased chance of getting into an accident.

Here’s what you should know about the connections between car crashes and sleep apnea.

Could sleep apnea lead to a crash?

Driving while you are overtired can be a dangerous combination. When you are exhausted, you may have decreased reaction times and difficulty responding to changes in your circumstances on the road.

Recent research with drivers with sleep apnea showed an increase in behaviors, such as:

  • Hard braking
  • Speeding
  • Sudden acceleration

While the study did use cameras to determine if the behaviors were due to sleepy drivers, the results showed an increase in the target behaviors as the severity of their sleep apnea increased.

Getting in tune with your exhaustion

Living with sleep apnea, you may be used to a perpetual level of exhaustion. You may take a nap during the day, go to sleep early and still wake up feeling like you could go back to sleep.

Sleep apnea does not necessarily mean you need to put away your car keys, but you should pay attention to when you might be too tired to drive. You should also pay attention to your alertness while you are driving and pull over if you become exhausted.