Drowsy driving involved in one-fifth of fatal crashes

While it may or may not be true that New York might be "the city that never sleeps", many of its motorists likely get behind the wheel while drowsy. This type of behavior can be as risky as drunk driving and distracted driving, according to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The report shows that the less sleep motorists get, the more likely they are to be involved in a car crash.

Using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researchers found that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in 24-hour period are two times as likely to be in a car accident as those who sleep seven or more hours. Further, drivers who sleep only four or five hours are four times as likely to crash. A AAA representative said that those who have not gotten at least seven hours of sleep should not get behind the wheel.

In 2015, 35,092 people lost their lives in U.S. traffic accidents, which was a 7.2 percent increase over 2014. Previous studies indicate that around 20 percent of all fatal crashes on U.S. roadways involve a fatigued driver. Meanwhile, more than one in three Americans are sleep deprived on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts stress that drivers should immediately pull over and rest if they feel sleepy. They should also take a brief minute nap every few hours when on a long drive.

A car accident can cause severe and debilitating injuries, including fractures, back and neck injuries and brain trauma. When one is caused by the negligence of another driver, an attorney representing an injured victim might find it advisable to seek compensation for out-of-pocket medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and other applicable amounts through a personal injury lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.

Source: NPR, "Drivers Beware: Crash Rate Spikes With Every Hour Of Lost Sleep," Allison Aubrey, Dec. 6, 2016

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