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Seasonal Affective Disorder Can Lead to Car Accidents

By Burg Simpson
April 13, 2017
2 min read

Seasonal Affective Disorder affects 11 million Americans during the winter months. This is a recognized medical condition characterized by depression, fatigue, mental fogginess, and other symptoms, commonly associated with the longer, darker days of winter months. SAD can affect both men and women, as well as elderly and teens. Though there is no specific diagnostic test for SAD; it seems to be a type of depression caused by inadequate exposure to sunlight.

While it makes sense that car accidents can lead to depression, there is some speculation that certain types of depression—such as SAD—can lead to car accidents.

SAD affects most sufferers the way a traditional clinical depression might. The combination of extreme fatigue and lack of mental clarity might interfere with the operation of a motor vehicle. Symptoms that could contribute to a car accident include:

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to focus
  • Sleeplessness
  • Mental fog

Sleep deprivation is a primary cause of car accidents among professional truck drivers and other long-distance haulers. Extreme fatigue can significantly slow reflexes to the point of danger, as the driver’s delayed reaction time interferes with the ability to avoid an otherwise avoidable accident. The depression associated with SAD also causes a lack of mental clarity, which might further interfere with a driver’s judgment, causing inappropriate or reckless choices behind the wheel.

Many people who suffer from SAD report that various therapies and medications, in addition to more exposure to light, do alleviate the symptoms. While they are suffering, however, it is advisable not to operate a motor vehicle or perform any task that requires a high level of alertness.

Most car accidents are caused by human error. Even when a driver is suffering from depression or any illness that interferes with driver performance, the driver could still be considered liable if they cause an accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligent, reckless, or careless conduct, you might be eligible to collect monetary compensation for your injuries. To learn more, call our personal injury lawyers in Denver at the law firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P. C. at 303-792-5595 or contact us today online to set up a free consultation today.

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