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The effect of sleepiness on driving, prevalence of crashes

It might be a surprise to drivers in Georgia that authorities credit 100,000 crashes every year across the country to sleepiness. Furthermore, approximately 60 percent of adult drivers admit to drowsy driving. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that about 168 million people drove while they were sleepy in the prior year, and 37 percent of drivers had fallen asleep while driving.

Among the participants who admitted to falling asleep, 13 percent confessed to doing so once a month. Additionally, 4 percent of drivers admit to having near accidents or accidents due to sleepiness or falling asleep. In a 2001 NSF poll, 71 percent of participants said that they drive to and from work, and 27 percent of them do so while they are drowsy at least a few times a month, 12 percent do so a few times a week and 4 percent do so almost or every day.

Studies show that sleepiness can increase the occurrence of attention lapses, and this could contribute to crashes that are credited to other causes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, among the 100,000 drowsy driving crashes every year, 71,000 people are injured and 1,550 are killed. However, these numbers could be higher because there is no standard way of attributing crashes to drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving accidents could cause stiff personal costs for innocent vehicle occupants. These individuals might be entitled to compensation for some of these expenses if they are able to show that the other drivers were negligent. To achieve this, they might seek the assistance of private investigators and personal injury attorneys.

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