A Blood Test for Drowsed Driving

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We have previously discussed the phenomenon of drowsy driving and cited studies showing the dangers associated with drowsy driving are similar to those more commonly associated with distracted and drunk driving.  This week, researchers announced the development of a blood test which can identify whether a subject is sleep-deprived or well-rested with 92% accuracy.[1]

The importance of such a test is demonstrated by existing studies about the very real dangers of drowsed driving:  A study by AAA concluded that motorists who drove after sleeping only five to six hours were nearly twice as likely to be involved in a crash as compared to those who had gotten adequate sleep.  An earlier study by AAA found that one in five fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver. 

The blood test for drowsed driving works by identifying a unique biomarker in the blood samples of test subjects who have skipped a night of sleep.  It might not surprise you to learn that the test works because sleep deprivation induces cellular stress responses in the body.  What is most promising about the test is its accuracy rate in predicting those who have skipped a night of sleep without the need for baseline data from a test subject for comparison. 

This test would certainly have post-crash implications in the world of civil claims arising from car wrecks, especially where professional drivers are involved.  Additional studies are needed to develop a test which identifies chronic sleep deprivation which employers could use as a screening tool.     

It is not merely an accident when a drowsy driver causes a car crash resulting in injury to you or a family member and if it happens to you, do not delay in contacting the Colorado Springs Injury Attorneys at Rosenbaum & Wootton, P.C. by calling or texting us at 719.634.0102 or by clicking on this link to schedule your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.


[1]Emma E Laing, Carla S Möller-Levet, Derk-Jan Dijk, Simon N Archer; Sleep, zsy186, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy186; Published: 24 September 2018. 

 

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