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Correlation between sleep apnea and car accidents

Medical conditions that affect one's ability to drive safely are a fairly common thing. Unfortunately, many people in South Carolina and elsewhere may have certain conditions that go undiagnosed or untreated, making them a threat to themselves and others with whom they share the road. Sleep apnea, for example, is a disorder that is known to contribute to car accidents.

Sleep apnea reportedly affects 25 million Americans. Sadly, most are not diagnosed or refuse to comply with treatment. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to struggle or completely stop breathing while he or she sleeps. This can happen hundreds of times during the night, disrupting one's sleep cycle, lowering one's oxygen level and greatly reducing one's ability to function during the day.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, those with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to cause car accidents than those without the condition. In fact, according to a study conducted by the AASM, those with sleep apnea are 2.5 times more likely to cause auto collisions. With the use of positive airway pressure therapy, however, sleep apnea sufferers can reduce their risk of causing car accidents by 70 percent.

Despite the benefits of being treated for sleep apnea, numerous individuals fail to stick with therapy. If they cause car accidents as a result, they can be held accountable for any losses sustained by their victims. Those is South Carolina who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in auto collisions caused by those suffering from untreated medical conditions may seek compensation for their losses by filing civil claims in court with the assistance of an experienced attorney. If litigation proves successful, monetary damages may be awarded.

Source: aasmnet.org, "Risk of motor vehicle accidents is higher in people with sleep apnea", Accessed on May 15, 2017

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