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Drowsy driving leads to danger on the road

Research shows that drivers in Pennsylvania and across the nation are nodding off at the wheel and putting themselves and others in danger of a motor vehicle accident. A new study by the AAA has estimated that more than two-fifths of the drivers who take the road have done so when they are tired and have found themselves falling asleep while behind the wheel of their vehicles.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continues to work to dissuade drivers from taking the wheel when they are sleepy, according to the AAA survey results, an estimated 39.5 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 said had to work to stay awake while driving within the preceding month. Overall, 31.5 percent of drivers in all age groups drove while sleepy during the same time frame, and 43 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in their lifetime. A 2010 AAA study estimated one in every six fatal traffic accidents is the result of drowsy driving.

Statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that fatigue was a contributing factor in approximately 39.5 percent of that agency's major highway accident investigations conducted between 2001 and 2012. One official from the NHTSA has indicated that between 5,000 and 7,000 lives are lost each year as a result of accidents caused by sleep-deprived motorists.

People who have been injured in an auto accident caused by a sleepy driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine how to proceed. Legal counsel might suggest filing a lawsuit against the negligent motorist seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable damages.

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Gregory R. Gifford
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