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Report highlights dangers of driving while fatigued

Many drivers in California and throughout the country may have driven while fatigued. According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, around 5,000 people are killed annually due to driving while drowsy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration added drowsy driving to its list of impaired driving behaviors that includes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving while distracted.

Teenagers, young adults, people who do shift work and people who work nights are all more likely to be in crashes in which drowsy driving is a factor. The report estimated that there are 83.6 million drowsy drivers on the road each day. An additional difficulty is identifying crashes in which driving while fatigued plays a part. Law enforcement are not trained in protocols to recognize it as a cause, and people might be reluctant to self-report drowsiness.

With motor vehicle deaths on the rise between 2014 and 2015, experts feel it is critical to educate the public about this issue and encourage preventative behaviors just people were educated about seat belt use and the dangers of drunk driving. The report recommended a number of remedies including more laws and law enforcement training, workplace policies and improved data collection.

A person who is injured in a crash with a drowsy driver may be seriously injured. That person may wish to contact an attorney because insurance companies might try to avoid paying the needed compensation. Because the injuries from a motor vehicle accident may take weeks, months or years to fully recover from, this can be financially devastating. An attorney might recommend filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent motorist.

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