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The dangers of drowsy driving

We all get tried from time to time. Whether it is a rough nights sleep, you are up late working on a deadline or are ill, it can be tough to get through the day when you do not get enough sleep. Lack o sleep can show in our social interactions and work productivity. It can also impact our abilities to do some activities, such as driving a motor vehicle. In fact, getting behind the wheel when you are drowsy is considered to be rather risky and could be even more dangerous than drunk driving.

Not getting enough shut-eye can play a significant role in a person's cognitive functioning. Based on current statistics, an estimated 35 percent of drivers in the U.S. get the recommended sleep, which is a minimum of seven hours a night. Driving while tired was not looked at as a serious problem, despite the fact that is causes severe accidents every year.

Research has revealed the dangers of this situation when data uncovered just how many crashes were due to drowsy driving. Previously, the federal estimates suggested that drowsy driving accounted for 1 to 2 percent of crashes each year; however, it was found that the actual number is almost 8 times as much.

Why were the numbers so off? Compare drowsy driving to drunk driving, which is just as dangerous. It is much easier to establish that a driver is under the influence of alcohol. There are tests that can provide data and evidence that a person is intoxicated. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine if a driver is drowsy. There is no test to establish this, causing it to be the most underreported traffic safety issue.

Symptoms of drowsy driving include drifting in and out of your lane, having difficulty keeping your eyes open and driving in a trance-like state where it is difficult to remember the past few miles driven. Even when drivers know the signs and dangers of drowsy driving, they might still remain behind the wheel. This could be the cause of a serious crash.

Following a car crash, victims should understand their rights and options. This means exploring the cause of the crash. If a negligent driver caused the accident, it is possible to hold them accountable through a personal injury action. This legal claim could also help with the recover of compensation that could be used to address losses and damages from the accident.

Source: Cars.com, "Drowsy Driving a Far Greater Danger Than Thought, Study Shows," Natalie Hayes, Fe. 8, 2018

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