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Drowsy driving a factor in many motor vehicle accidents

California drivers may be in agreement with the 96 percent of people surveyed in 2014 who said driving while drowsy was unacceptable, but 37 percent of those drivers surveyed also admitted to having fallen asleep while driving at least once in their lives. In the previous year, 11 percent said they had done so.

The survey, which was conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, revealed a gap between what drivers believe they and others should do and what they actually do. The survey also found that about one in five crashes involved drowsy driving. This was an increase from the 16.5 percent result in a 2010 study.

Most drowsy driving accidents occur because the driver drifts into another lane, and drowsy drivers are often the victims in fatal crashes. It is estimated that in every year, drowsy driving is a factor in about 6,400 fatal accidents and about 109,000 accidents in which there are injuries. Twice as many accidents involving drowsy driving are caused by men compared to women.

A drowsy driver may injure another individual as well. In such a case, the victim may file a claim with the insurance company of the driver responsible, but the insurer may make a low offer of compensation. It may not be enough to cover the victim's medical expenses and lost wages from work, and in such case, legal representation may be advisable. A personal injury lawsuit filed against the responsible party would be grounded on negligence and would seek to show that they driver did not exercise a reasonable amount of care. Driving while drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel can in many cases be considered negligence.

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