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3 FAQs about drowsy driving and car accidents

Numerous technological advances have helped to increase the safety of the nation’s roadways, yet the likelihood of getting into an accident resulting from drowsy-driving has remained relatively consistent over the past decade.

Recent advances, including lane assist and pre-collision systems, aim to address this issue. Unfortunately data is not yet available on whether or not these devices will have a noticeable effect on the rate of drowsy driving accidents. In the meantime, drivers can benefit from some basic information about these accidents.

How frequent are drowsy-driving related accidents? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 846 fatalities directly connected to drowsy driving in 2014 alone. The federal agency further estimates that there were 83,000 crashes related to drowsy driving between the years of 2005 and 2009.

The agency also notes that a study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that approximately 16.5 percent of all fatal crashes are the result of drowsy driving. The NHTSA extrapolates from this data that 5,000 fatalities were the result of drowsy driving accidents last year.

Are there any common factors that contribute to these accidents? It is not surprising that these accidents happen most often at night, with 48 percent of drivers admitting to “nodding off” between the hours of 9 at night and 6 in the morning.

Who is liable for these car crashes? If a person falls asleep or is not paying attention while driving because he or she is tired and this exhaustion results in a car accident, that driver is likely liable for any resulting injuries.

If you believe that you are the victim of this type of accident, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can review the details of your accident and discuss potential remedies.

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