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AAA: Sleepy driving causes a tenth of auto accidents

When discussing distracted driving, texting and alcohol often take center stage. However, these are not the only things that can impair driving. Fatigue also plays a major role in many Kentucky crashes, although it might not receive as much attention.

A new AAA study shows just how dangerous sleepy driving has become. Before this study, federal estimates only assumed that drowsiness caused one out of every 100 accidents. In fact, the AAA study found that about one out of every ten crashes involves fatigue.

Dangers of drowsy driving

Fatigued drivers are similar to drunk drivers; they have a reduced mental ability to drive. Tired drivers have a hard time staying alert. Reaction times are slower, which means they might not be able to respond to a road hazard quickly enough. It’s also common for drowsy drivers to drift off the road or into other lanes.

Staying awake on the road

Drivers are legally responsible for their alertness behind the wheel. The obvious answer is to get enough sleep, but there may be other factors involved. Some medications cause drowsiness and must warn against driving on the label. Truckers, travelers and other people who drive for long periods of time should take frequent breaks to stretch and consume caffeine in a pinch.

What can crash victims do?

Few things are more frustrating than suffering the consequences of someone else’s mistake. With one third of fatigue-related crashes causing serious bodily harm or property damage, victims might have to deal with pain, medical costs and expensive repairs. In these cases, victims can choose to file a personal injury lawsuit, which could lead to compensation and benefits.

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