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Better technology may reduce dangers of driving while fatigued

New York residents who remember the 2014 crash that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his friends may be interested to learn that one likely cause of the crash was fatigue. Their vehicle was hit by a truck driver who had been awake for more than 24 hours although it is unclear whether the driver fell asleep at the wheel. It is estimated that about 7,500 fatal accidents annually involve a fatigued driver.

However, the use of technology to prevent these crashes is growing. More car and truck manufacturers are installing devices that detect dangers and alert drivers. Some of these devices, such as anti-collision devices and devices that detect when drivers drift out of their lanes, may reduce the incidence of crashes overall. These devices may notify drivers of impending danger or make the corrections themselves. This might even include automatic braking.

Other devices are specifically targeted at drowsy drivers. For example, some steering wheels measure the frequency with which drivers use them, and if a lower frequency is detected, the device will sound or flash an alert to the driver. Some apps may track factors such as drivers' body movements or how much sleep they have had to estimate whether they might be drowsy and sound warning alerts based on that.

Many vehicles are not yet equipped with these devices, and accidents will still happen despite their presence. People who are injured in a car accident due to another driver's fatigue may suffer serious physical and financial harm. The recovery period may be lengthy, and in some cases, victims suffer lifelong effects. If the responsible driver's insurance company offers inadequate compensation, the injured person may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit with the assistance of an attorney who can review the accident investigation report and other evidence to demonstrate that the driver was negligent.

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