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Drowsy driving statistics are startling

Most people in Arkansas are aware that driving while they are tired is dangerous due to the risk of falling asleep or having slowed reaction times. Despite the danger, drowsy driving is extremely common, according to a 2015 survey conducted by AAA.

In the survey, AAA found that 43 percent of the respondents admitted to having nodded off or falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 5,000 and 7,000 people are killed each year due to drowsy drivers.

The AAA survey found that 39.6 percent of respondents between the ages of 19 and 24 admitted to having trouble remaining awake while driving within the preceding month. Across all age groups, 31.5 percent of drivers admitted to driving while tired in the past month. In a 2010 study also conducted by AAA, one out of every six fatal accidents that year were caused by driving while tired. In major highway investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board between 2001 and 2012, th agency found that fatigue was a factor in 39.5 percent of them.

Motor vehicle accidents can result in catastrophic injuries to both the driver as well as to others involved. A passenger in the sleep-deprived driver's vehicle or who is in another car at the time and who is injured may want to meet with a personal injury attorney to determine how to proceed. In some cases, the attorney may suggest the filing of a lawsuit as an appropriate way to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist for medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable damages.

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