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Two in five drivers admit to drowsy driving

According to a new study, approximately two of every five drivers in California and across the U.S. have dozed off while behind the wheel of a car at some point in their lives. The study, which was conducted by AAA, was released as part of National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in November.

At the Asleep at the Wheel forum held in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that between 5,000 and 7,000 Americans are killed each year due to drowsy driving. The agency revealed that driver fatigue was a factor in an estimated 39.5 percent of major accident investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board between 2001 and 2012. Overall, drowsy driving was a factor in 20 percent of all NTSB investigations.

Meanwhile, AAA's new study showed that 39.6 percent of drivers between the ages of 19 and 24 reported struggling with drowsy driving at least once in the previous month, making that age group most at risk for driver fatigue. Overall, 31.5 percent of drivers reported drowsy driving during the previous month. In 2010, AAA reported that 16.5 percent of fatal traffic accidents were caused by driver fatigue.

As these statistics show, drowsy driving causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents each year in the U.S. A person who has been injured as a result of such an accident may often face long periods of hospitalization, with attendant high medical costs as well as lost wages due to an inability to work. A personal injury attorney might be of assistance in seeking compensation from the negligent motorist for the losses that have been sustained.

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