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Drowsy driving kills thousands every year

In today's society, getting enough sleep feels like an impossibility. This lack of sleep is harming us more than we think. A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association states that an estimated 83.6 million sleep-deprived drivers hit the roads daily, putting themselves and others at risk. In 2015, approximately 5,000 people lost their lives in drowsy driving crashes. On average, 328,000 drowsy driving car accidents occur in the United States every year.

The GHSA report finds that driving while tired is comparable to driving while drunk. In fact, even just one full day without sleep is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of .10 percent, which is well over the .08 percent legal limit. Much like with drunk driving, drowsy driving can result in slower reaction times and less focus on the roadways.

Everyone is at risk for drowsy driving, but some drivers are more likely to drive tired. Teens and young adults under 25 are involved in over 50 percent of drowsy driving accidents every year. People with sleep disorders and those who work nights or irregular shifts are also more likely to drive while sleep deprived.

Many states will be taking steps to reduce the amount of drowsy driving on the roadways. However, even with increased law enforcement and public awareness, there may still be many tired drivers who get behind the wheel in New York. Negligent drivers may be held liable for any injuries or damages they cause if an accident victim files a personal injury lawsuit against them. A successful lawsuit can give victims a chance to recover compensation to cover their accident-related expenses.

Source: Forbes, "Around 5,000 People Were Killed Last Year Due to Drowsy Driving," Tanya Mohn, Aug. 8, 2016

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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