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Drowsy driving is widespread and deadly

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2020 | Auto Accident

You were hit by a negligent driver in Somerset, Massachusetts, and may be in a condition where you can’t even support your children. If first-party benefits don’t cover all of your injury-related losses, then you might be able to file a third-party insurance claim.

Much will depend on proving the other driver’s negligence. Perhaps he or she was drowsy; this is not uncommon, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In fact, it estimates that there are 328,000 drowsy driving crashes every year in this country, 109,000 of which result in injuries and 6,400 of which are fatal. This is 350% greater than official statistics, which only count police-reported drowsy driving crashes.

Drowsiness does not go well with driving

Drowsy drivers, try as they might, cannot keep themselves and other road users safe, and thus they are guilty of negligence. Drowsiness slows down reaction times and makes it harder for one to concentrate. In serious cases, it can lead to microsleep, four- or five-second periods of inattention. During microsleep, a driver on the highway can travel the length of a football field without knowing it.

The National Safety Council says that fatigue triples the risk for an auto accident. When severely sleep-deprived, one can begin to act drunk. For instance, being awake for 20 consecutive hours is similar in its effects to having a .08 blood alcohol concentration.

Interventions for drowsy driving

As most (50% or more) drowsy driving crash initiators are under 25, parents and universities can do much in terms of interventions. Parents could have a drowsiness rule in the driving agreement with their teens, for example. Others may drive drowsy because they take drowsiness-inducing medications, in which case better labeling may be helpful.

Legal assistance at every step

In your effort to seek compensation for your injuries, you may hire a lawyer who deals in motor vehicle crashes. Once the lawyer determines that you have good grounds for a third-party claim, he or she may have crash investigators and other third parties help build up the case. The lawyer may handle all negotiations for a settlement.