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Many motorists driving while sleepy

New York drivers may be unaware of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. This event aims to inform people about the dangers of driving while fatigued. A recent study by the American Automobile Association found that 43 percent of drivers surveyed said that they had fallen asleep while driving at least once in their lives.

In the AAA study, almost 40 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 said that they had driven while fatigued in the previous month. Across all drivers, more than 30 percent said they had been fatigued drivers in the past month.

Addressing attendees at a forum in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, a representative from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association said that drowsy driving kills 5,000 to 7,000 people annually in the United States. The representative is also a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, and he said that from 2001 to 2012, fatigue was identified as a factor in almost 40 percent of all major NTSB highway investigations. The NHTSA is hoping to encourage more drivers to avoid getting behind the wheel if they feel sleepy.

The impairment caused by driving while drowsy can lead to car accidents and serious injuries. Individuals who are injured in such an accident may want to obtain the assistance of an attorney in filing a lawsuit against the drowsy driver for the damages that have been sustained. Drivers may be uninsured or underinsured, but even in cases when they carry adequate insurance, the insurance company may make an inadequate offer of compensation.

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