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The dangers of driving while sleep-deprived

Kentucky motorists who are fatigued may not realize the risk they are taking, but according to a report released on Aug. 8 by the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were about 5,000 fatalities in 2015 that resulted from car accidents in which drowsy driving was a factor. It is estimated that more than 83 million sleep-deprived drivers are on the road each day.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found the situation serious enough to expand its definition of impaired driving to include driving while sleep-deprived along with driving under the influence and distracted driving. A lack of sleep may leave a person in a state similar to that of inebriation with a person who has gone 21 hours without sleep operating as though they have a .08 blood alcohol content.

The GHSA report said that drivers who work nights along with teens and young adults are most likely to drive while fatigued. In response to concerns about drowsy driving, some states have instituted later school start times while the report recommended better workplace policies to help combat the problem. Other recommendations included better laws and training for law enforcement and improved methods of data collection.

Whether they are a result of drowsy driving or some other form of negligence, car accidents can be devastating. People who are injured may require lengthy periods of expensive medical care and treatment, during which they are unable to return to work. In such a case, a personal injury attorney could be of assistance in filing a lawsuit against the at-fault motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been incurred.

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