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Many fatal accidents are caused by driver fatigue

Many Californians are busy juggling family, friends, work, school and various other things. As a result, we do not get the amount of sleep we need, but still get behind the wheel of a car to drive to our next meeting or activity. The American Sleep Foundation found that close to 50 percent of drivers in the U.S. admitted to driving while feeling drowsy.

However, drowsy driving is responsible for many car collisions on the road, some of which are fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 100,000 drowsy driving accidents reported to police every year, resulting in 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.

It may surprise many people to learn that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drowsy drivers have slower reaction times and have difficulties staying focused on the road. A driver who has gone over 20 hours without sleep is basically the same as a driver driving with a .08 blood alcohol concentration. Experts find that driving with less than 7 hours of sleep, having an untreated sleep disorder, working the night shift or multiple shifts and driving at night are some of the most significant factors that contribute to drowsy driving.

For those involved in an accident involving a drowsy driver, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against the offending party for damages from the accident. Drowsy driving, failure to pay attention, and other unsafe driving behaviors are all forms of negligence. If a plaintiff can establish that the other driver's negligence caused the accident and injuries, it may be possible to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other costs. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is a good first step towards possible financial recovery.

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