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Some breakthroughs in drowsy driving prevention

Thanks to advances in vehicle technology, accidents due to drowsy driving could be reduced, making the roads safer for motorists in New York and around the country. Forward collision systems may allow the vehicle itself to alert a driver to an impending collision by make noise or flashing lights inside the vehicle. If necessary, it may be able to brake for the driver who may have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Other pieces of technology now available include lane detection systems that keep cars in their lanes and on the road.

It is believed that such technology could reduce rear-end collisions by 10 percent while reducing the number of cars that run off the road by 40 percent. Currently, the NHTSA says that 2 percent of all fatal vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy drivers and 2.5 percent of non-fatal accidents are caused by drowsy drivers, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that the incidence is far higher.

However, it is thought that the exact percentage cannot be known. This is because there is no standard test for determining if a driver is drowsy while behind the wheel. The issue of driving while tired gained the national spotlight last summer when Tracy Morgan was injured in an accident involving a Wal-Mart driver who had been awake for 28 hours prior to the crash. Although that accident involved a commercial truck driver, experts caution that anyone could drive while tired.

Those who are injured in car accidents may wish to take legal action against the driver who caused the crash. Passengers, pedestrians or other drivers who are hurt in an accident may receive compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. If they are unable to return to work, they may be entitled to compensation for lost future earnings as well. A personal injury attorney may be able to review the case and assist an injured victim throughout the process.

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