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California motorists in danger of fatigue wrecks

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, auto accidents caused by fatigued drivers merited sufficient concern to be included on the agency's yearly list of outstanding transportation safety problems. Although the list, which was released in January 2016, also featured carryovers from the prior year, such as the need for operators to be medically fit and avoid substance impairment, safety observers said that highlighting fatigue marked a new focus in safety standards.

NTSB officials said that the development of its 2016 "Most Wanted" list of safety improvements reflected a number of contemporary transportation safety issues. One ex-chairperson noted that even though vehicles are increasingly equipped with technology and safety features, approximately 35,000 people continue to perish in roadway accidents each year. She also lauded the fact that the agency was finally addressing the problem posed by impaired and tired drivers.

NTSB's list of problematic concerns wasn't restricted to fatigue. It also highlighted the need to make collision-avoidance technologies more widely available to drivers and help motorists avoid getting caught up in distractions that could contribute to fatal incidents.

Issues like fatigue and substance impairment pose widely recognized risks to motorists, even if they themselves have been operating safely. Anyone can become the victim of another driver's decision to act negligently or carelessly, and when car crashes occur as a result, survivors and their families often incur direct medical expenses and property damage. Many even suffer long-term financial side effects because they lose the ability to work, and they may find it prudent to learn how to pursue legal restitution.

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