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Drowsy drivers can cause severe accidents

We hear stories all the time about how drunk drivers and distracted drivers are responsible for many of the accidents that occur in New York City. However, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that every year, 100,000 reported car accidents involve a tired driver. These accidents cause over 70,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths annually. A lack of sleep can negatively affect a driver's mental processing and reaction time, making an accident more likely.

Commercial truck drivers, bus drivers, drivers who work long hours or late nights, drivers with sleep disorders, parents of young children, and new drivers are some of the most likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.

Now that Daylights Savings Time has come to an end, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee is warning us of the dangers of drowsy driving. The New York State Partnership Against Drowsy Driving has released a "Stay Awake Stay Alive" message that will be displayed on major roadways during the National Sleep Foundation's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

Experts say to look out for signs that you are too tired to drive. Some of these signs include: missing traffic signals, swerving, struggling to keep your eyes open, yawning repeatedly, and inability to focus on the road. If you notice that you are exhibiting these signs, you should pull over and rest or have someone else drive. Experts also suggest that drivers take a break every 100 miles or two hours to avoid drowsy driving. Failure to take precautions may cause an accident and lead to serious injuries.

Source: LongIsland.com, "Motorists Reminded of Dangers of Drowsy Driving as Daylight savings Time Ends," Nov. 7, 2016

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
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