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Drowsy driving and car accident risks

New Yorkers are injured in car accidents caused by drivers who are sleep-deprived every year. While people may be aware that drowsy driving is dangerous, they may not be aware of how common the practice is.

According to a 2015 AAA survey, 43 percent of U.S. drivers that responded admitted driving while drowsy at least once in their lives. Of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24, 39.6 percent admitted to driving while they had a difficult time remaining awake at least once in the previous month. When all age groups were looked at, approximately 31 percent of the respondents admitted to doing so.

Data covering the period of 2001 and 2012 and compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board found that drowsy driving was a contributing factor in 39.5 percent of that agency's major highway investigations. In a 2010 study, AAA found that drowsy driving is a factor in approximately 16.5 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Because of these studies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated an awareness campaign focused on reducing fatigued driving.

Drivers owe a duty to others to pull off of the road when they feel tired. When they don't, they risk the lives of both themselves and others around them. In the event that a drowsy driver causes a car accident, injured victims may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine the recourse that may be available. In some cases, it might be advisable to file a lawsuit against the negligent motorist seeking compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other applicable damages.

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