Drowsy driving creates serious danger on the road

Many California motorists are likely among the estimated 83 million people who drive while drowsy each day.The problem is a serious one, and the Governors Highway Safety Association released a report on Aug. 8 that said approximately 5,000 people had died in 2015 in accidents in which drowsy driving was a factor. That same year, overall motor vehicle fatalities were up 7.7 percent from the previous year.

Despite the figures in the report, experts say that it is difficult to quantify the true scope of the problem. People are reluctant to admit that they were driving while fatigued, and law enforcement authorities are not trained in identifying drowsy drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is severe enough that the agency added it to its impaired driving category.

Young adults, teenagers, and people who work the night shift or long hours are more likely to drive while drowsy. Experts say it is necessary to educate the public about the dangers, and this was also one of the recommendations in the GHSA report. Other recommendations included training law enforcement and better data collection.

A person might be seriously injured in an accident with a drowsy driver. The insurance company might not offer very much in compensation, and a person might be struggling with significant medical bills and lost wages. If this is the case, an injured victim may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss the advisability of filing a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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