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Drowsy Driving Is A Bigger Danger Than You Might Think

New York City broadcast and print media regularly remind us of the dangers of distracted driving and drunken driving. But a behavior that is just as risky is too often ignored: drowsy driving.

Of course, one reason the problem is often ignored by media and lawmakers is because drowsy driving can be difficult to track statistically. There is no certain way of knowing exactly how many drivers cause crashes and collisions because of fatigue.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that every year, 100,000 crashes are caused by driver fatigue. The federal agency says the estimate is a conservative one, but if even that total is accurate, it means more than 1,500 fatalities and 70,000 injuries are the direct result of exhausted drivers.

Drowsiness also plays a role in many drunken driving crashes, experts say.

A number of other nations have more detailed crash-reporting processes that attempt to understand the impact of fatigue and drowsiness on drivers. Data from those countries (including England, Finland, Australia) indicates that drowsiness is a factor in 10 to 30 percent of all motor vehicle crashes.

Drowsy driving is never more dangerous than when it involves a truck driver behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. The problem often exists among truckers on long hauls, when some will be on the road for extended periods that can last more than a full day.

If you suspect fatigue or intoxication played a role in an accident that resulted in injuries to you or a loved one, you can speak with a New York City attorney experienced in getting to the bottom of crash causes.

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