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Study suggests that drowsy driving puts motorists at risk

Pennsylvania motorists may be interested in the results of a 2015 survey conducted by the American Automobile Association. According to its findings, an estimated 43 percent of drivers in the U.S. admitted to having nodded off at the wheel while operating a motor vehicle at least one time in their lives. This study follows an earlier AAA research project conducted in 2010 that suggests that drowsy driving is a factor in one out of every six fatal traffic accidents.

AAA's new study has identified 19- to 24-year-old drivers as the age group that might be among those most at risk on the roadways due to sleep deprivation. Survey results indicate that on at least one occasion during the previous month, an estimated 39.6 percent of these motorists have struggled to keep their eyes open while driving. In comparison, 31.5 percent of drivers across all age groups admitted to having had that problem in the preceding month.

In the wake of AAA's recent work, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging motorists to avoid driving while low on sleep. According to the NHTSA administrator, between 5,000 and 7,000 deaths in this country each year can be attributed to drowsy driving. In addition, fatigue has been indicated as at least a contributing factor in an estimated 39.5 percent of the major highway investigations conducted by the NTSB between 2001 and 2012.

These statistics suggest that the consequences of driving while sleep-deprived could potentially be devastating. A person who has suffered a serious injury as the result of an accident that occurred because a driver fell asleep at the wheel may want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking financial damages for the losses that have been sustained.

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