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How to avoid drowsy driving accidents

Drowsy driving continues to be a deadly hazard in New York and across the country. In fact, federal statistics show that as many as 6,000 Americans are killed in fatigue-related crashes every year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowsy driving is more likely to occur when individuals don't get adequate sleep, have untreated sleep apnea or other types of sleep disorders, are taking certain medications, have been drinking alcohol or are doing shift work. Some of the most common warning signs for fatigue-related driving include yawning, frequently blinking, having no memory of driving the last few miles, drifting from the traffic lane, hitting the rumble strip on the shoulder of the road and missing exits.

In order to prevent drowsy driving accidents, the CDC recommends that drivers get a minimum of seven hours sleep every 24 hours and maintain a regular sleep schedule. The agency also suggests that drivers avoid taking medications that make them drowsy and get prompt medical attention for any suspected sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. Finally, drivers should never drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Individuals who have been injured in car accidents caused by drowsy drivers have the right to pursue legal action against the responsible driver. For example, after reviewing the details of the case, lawyers at a personal injury law firm might recommend filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for current and future medical expenses, physical therapy costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, property loss and other related damages. If someone is killed in the accident, lawyers might be able to help the victim's family file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship and more.

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