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High percentage of drowsy drivers involved in crashes

Drowsy drivers are involved in a higher percentage of accidents than had been previously estimated, a study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has revealed. New York motorists might benefit from knowing the dangers of driving when sleep-deprived.

The study was based on an analysis of about 14,268 car accidents over a five-year period. he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had previously estimated that drowsy driving was a contributing factor in only between 1 and 3 percent of all motor vehicle accidents each year around the country. However, the AAA report took a more closer look at these types of car accidents.

It used as a data base more than 14,000 accidents where a car had to be towed from the scene between 2009 and 2013, and trained investigators were used to assess the incidences where one of the drivers was sleep-deprived. It found that 21 percent of the accidents in which there was at least one fatality involved a drowsy driver, and 13 percent involved an injury serious enough to require hospitalization. Extrapolated to all crashes that are reported around the country, the Foundation stated that 6,400 fatal crashes per year involve drowsy driving.

Drivers might not always recognize when they are actually drowsy, and this can lead to accidents in which others are seriously injured. Although there is no recognized test to measure drowsiness as there is for intoxication, an attorney for an injured victim can use other evidence, such as the testimony of eyewitnesses, to show that the driver was negligent and should thus be held responsible for the payment of damages that the victim has incurred.

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