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Accident raises awareness to drowsy driving


Motorists in Massachusetts might be interested to hear about a woman who was involved in a car accident after she fell asleep behind the wheel. Indeed, the National Sleep Foundation reported that the effects of driving while sleepy can be the much the same as those of driving while drunk. However, accidents that are caused by fatigued drivers tend to be underreported for numerous reasons, the primary one being that it is difficult to determine when fatigue was a factor in an accident.

The woman stated that she was on her way to a friend’s house in the middle of the night as a surprise. She remembered feeling sleepy before she began driving, but she never thought that she would fall asleep behind the wheel. She spent three and a half hours lying in a ditch waiting for someone to find her. Although she survived her car accident, other drowsy drivers cannot say the same.

According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, approximately two percent of the fatal accidents that occurred in 2011 involved a fatigued driver. While these statistics might not sound like a lot, they are only representing the accidents that were determined to be caused by drowsy driving. Numerous other accidents that were probably caused by drowsy driving go unreported. Furthermore, a researcher director at the AAA stated that 73 percent of fatal accidents are listed with drowsiness being a possible factor but not an official factor.

Measures have been taken to combat drowsy driving, though. The National Sleep Foundation launched education programs, and rumble strips have begun to be integrated into roadway infrastructures. People who are involved in car accidents that might be attributed to drowsy drivers could be able seek compensation for their injuries with the assistance of personal injury lawyers who may help them negotiate settlements for their claims.

Source: AOL Auto, “Drowsy driving accident highlights danger of underreported problem“, Michael Zak, September 11, 2013


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