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Study shows drowsy driving a common factor in car accidents

When there is an auto accident in Louisiana and across the nation, there are many different reasons why it might have happened. Today, it is instinctive to believe that a driver was not paying attention to the road and was distracted by a device. Another potential reason for a crash is a driver operating the vehicle while under the influence. While these are common factors, one that is also problematic is a drowsy driver. A recently released study indicates that an estimated one out of every 10 car crashes happens because of a drowsy driver.

Researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety studied more than 3,500 drivers with dashboard cameras along with other equipment. It found that among those drivers, there were more than 700 accidents. In them, drowsy driving was a reason in as many as 9.5 percent. More than 10 percent of these accidents caused injuries, led to the airbags deploying, and damaged property. This study shows that the percentages of drivers who are driving while drowsy is significantly higher than the estimates from the federal government which assessed it to be a factor in around 1 to 2 percent of accidents.

This study was released simultaneous to researchers examining how Americans are affected by a lack of sleep. A survey by AAA showed that an estimated 29 percent of people confessed to driving while tired enough that they were having difficulty keeping their eyes open at some point in the previous month. Men and women are around equally susceptible to drowsy driving. Nearly 70 percent of the accidents in the study occurred during the day. More than 50 percent of the drivers were between 16 and 24.

The goal of the study is to highlight how risky it is to drive while drowsy not just while taking an extended trip, but on shorter drives. People who lose two to three hours of sleep can be at four times the risk of being in a car crash. When there is an auto accident, those who were involved and injured will be forced to deal with innumerable problems financially and personally. If there was a fatality, the family must face the loss of a loved one and the aftermath. A legal filing is vital to recover compensation. Having an attorney experienced in car accidents will know how to conduct a crash reconstruction and pursue a legal case.

Source: cnbc.com, "Drowsy driving may be the cause of 1 out of 10 auto crashes," Phil LeBeau, Feb. 8, 2018

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