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Lack of sleep massively increases accident risks

Think that you can get by on just five or six hours of sleep? Even if you're drinking coffee to try to make up for it, a lack of sleep can be very dangerous.

For one thing, it's a big contributor to car accidents. The American Automobile Association (AAA) claims that around 20 percent of deadly accidents involve drowsy drivers. That's not to say it causes the accidents alone, but it plays a role.

Experts say that you need to get around seven hours of sleep every day, at minimum. If you wind up just an hour or two short -- a common thing for many people in today's fast-paced world -- your risk of being in an accident can double.

It just gets worse the more you miss. If you miss three hours of sleep, the odds of being in a wreck go up by an incredible 400 percent. That statistic comes right from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

What if you miss even more than that? In 24 hours, if you get under four hours of sleep, you're 11.5 times as likely to be in a wreck.

It's often tempting to push it. You had a late night at work and you have an early day the next day. There's just no spare time, especially if you want to enjoy a social life, exercise and any hobbies. But, even if you're willing to tough it out, is it worth the risk?

Many drivers decide that it is. If you're involved in an accident caused by one of these drowsy drivers, it's important to know all of the rights you may have to financial compensation for medical bills, and more.

Source: US News, "Drowsy Driving: Worse Than Drunk Driving?," Jaclyn Trop, accessed Oct. 14, 2017

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