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Falling asleep behind the wheel is a common problem

New York residents may be interested to learn how many Americans have fallen asleep while driving. According to a new study conducted by AAA, about 43 percent of licensed drivers in the United States admitted that they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least one time in their life.

The AAA study found that drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 are the most likely to drive drowsy. About 39 percent of young drivers admitted that they struggled to stay awake while driving at least one time in the previous month. An earlier study conducted by AAA in 2010 showed that about one in every six fatal car accidents that occur on the nation's roads are caused by drowsy driving.

On Nov. 4, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration presented drowsy driving statistics at the Asleep at the Wheel forum in Washington, D.C. The NHTSA administrator said that drowsy driving causes between 5,000 and 7,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. He also said that fatigue was found to be a factor in about 39.5 percent of major highway accidents that were investigated by the NTSB between 2001 and 2012.

Car accidents caused by drowsy drivers can result in serious injuries as well as fatalities. People who have been injured by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel may want to discuss their situations with a personal injury attorney. Legal counsel can use the accident investigation report and other evidence to demonstrate that the sleep-deprived motorist was negligent and should thus be held financially responsible for the injured victim's losses.

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