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Study: More auto accidents might be due to drowsy drivers

With New York auto accidents, it is important to determine the cause. In many crashes, there is evidence as to how it happened. For example, phone records will indicate that a driver was texting or using the device at the time of the car accident. If a driver was under the influence, testing will show that to be the case. An underreported issue, however, is when an accident is due to drowsy driving. Research is examining the frequency of drowsy drivers and has found that there could be substantially more accidents due to drowsy driving than was previously thought.

According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study using cameras that were installed in vehicles, a greater number of drivers are falling asleep while driving. More than 700 accidents were part of the study. The researchers analyzed the drivers' faces for three minutes prior to the accident. A scientific gauge was utilized to assess if the driver was falling asleep. It found that in 9.5 percent of the accidents, drowsy driving was a factor. In 10.8 percent of the accidents, there was serious property damage. This information differs from federal research which believed that there were fewer drowsy driving accidents.

In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that between 2011 and 2015, drowsy driving was a factor in 1.4 percent of crashes that were reported to police, in 2 percent that led to injuries, and 2.4 percent that resulted in fatalities. The federal government might be hindered by the lack of information necessary to categorize a crash as having happened because of drowsy driving.

Often, the only way to know is if the driver admits to it. With the percentages from AAA, it is possible that a greater percentage of the 37,000 fatalities on the road in 2016 were due to drowsy driving. AAA suggests that drivers get a minimum of seven hours of sleep before getting behind the wheel. Sleeping for four of five hours is believed to quadruple the risk of an accident.

For people who have been in a car accident, the cause can be a major factor toward filing a successful lawsuit. With the medical expenses, lost time on the job and long-term problems that can come about after being injured in a car accident, a lawsuit can be the only strategy to secure compensation. For families who have lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, it is even more crucial. A lawyer who understands how to conduct an accident investigation and move forward with litigation can help with a case.

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 347-286-1937
Fax: 718-447-9908
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