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Study shows prevalence of drowsy drivers

According to statistics, quite a few Louisiana motorists apparently drive while they are sleep-deprived. In 2010, a AAA study found that an estimated 16.5 percent of fatal traffic accidents were the result of drowsy driving. A more recent survey conducted by AAA showed that more than 40 percent of the drivers who responded admitted to nodding off or falling asleep behind the wheel at least once. To address this problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is cautioning drivers to not drive while they are fatigued.

Almost 5,000 to 7,000 people are killed annually in the United States as a result of the actions of drowsy drivers. This is one of the statistics that was provided by the NHTSA on Nov. 4, 2015, at the Asleep at the Wheel Forum that was held in Washington, D.C., during National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. It was also indicated that fatigue was a contributing aspect in 20 percent of all of the major investigations conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board between 2001 and 2012. That figure rose to 39.5 percent when limited to the major highway investigations conducted by the NTSB during the same period.

The new AAA survey also identified the drivers that most frequently engage in drowsy driving as those between the ages of 19 and 24. Approximately 39.5 percent of these drivers admitted that at least once during the previous month, they had struggled to remain awake while behind the wheel.

A person who is injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy or otherwise negligent driver will often face high medical bills and be unable to work for prolonged periods. Such a person may want to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking compensation from the at-fault motorist.

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