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Thousands of deaths annually a result of drowsy driving

Arkansas drivers may be among the 37 percent that a 2014 study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say have fallen asleep while driving at some point. The study also found that 11 percent of drivers had fallen asleep at the wheel in the previous 12 months.

These statistics make it seem that people do continue to drive while drowsy even though 96 percent of drivers said that doing so is unacceptable. The study found that more than 20 percent of fatal accidents in 2014 could be attributed at least in part to drowsy driving. Men are twice as likely to drive while drowsy than women are, and most of these accidents occur when drivers drift into another lane. Often, the fatality is the drowsy driver.

These statistics indicate that despite believing that driving while drowsy is unacceptable, many people continue to do so. In fact, the Foundation estimated that 328,000 crashes annually happen due to drowsy driving, killing about 6,400 people and injuring another 109,000.

Sleep-deprived drivers may injure others besides themselves. A passenger in a car with a drowsy driver, the driver or passengers in other vehicles or even pedestrians are at risk, and an injury from such an accident may be serious or even life-changing. The responsible driver may be uninsured or underinsured or may simply have an insurance company that refuses to pay out more than a nominal amount. In these circumstances, the injured victim may want to consult with an attorney to see if there are other remedies. One possible form of legal recourse would be a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence that would seek appropriate damages from the responsible driver.

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