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Drowsy driving; the cause of too many car accidents


When North Carolina's motorists think of negligent driving, they may think of speeding, failing to yield, texting and driving, and drunk driving. While these are certainly dangerous things to do when behind the wheel, there is another type of driving that is putting many at risk: drowsy driving.

A recent poll conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 out of every 25 drivers admits to having fallen asleep behind the wheel in the last month. Men 18- to 34-years-old were those most common to do so. Unfortunately, drowsy driving results in about 100,000 a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and each year, about 7,500 fatal accidents involve sleepy motorists, which is almost as many as the 10,000 deaths caused by drunk driving. Perhaps most worrisome is that some experts believe accidents, injuries, and deaths related to drowsy driving are underreported.

There is no doubt that North Carolinians are susceptible to being hit by a sleepy driver. These drivers can swerve into oncoming traffic, runs a stop light, or fail to yield to pedestrians, resulting in a devastating car accident that leaves victims injured or dead. Moreover, victims are often unfairly left with pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

Recovering these losses and seeking justice often require filing a personal injury lawsuit. Negligence and causation must be shown in order to recover compensation, which sometimes can be quite complex to achieve. However, an experienced attorney may be able to help a victim assess his or her case and gather the evidence and witness testimony necessary to put forth a claim that has merit. Hopefully, when all is said and done, a victim will be able to heal physically, emotionally, and financially, while raising awareness of the dangers of driving when tired.

Source: CBS, "Drowsy driving: An accelerating threat," July 4, 2014

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