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Driving while sleep-deprived can be dangerous

Arkansas motorists may need to recognize the risks and problems associated with drowsy driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the incidence of crashes involving drivers who are sleep-deprived imposes a significant financial and physical burden on not only the drivers themselves, but on those who are passengers in their vehicles as well as others who are on the road.

Drowsy driving is not easily documented due to a lack of quantitative measurements. No tests are available to determine the actual number of crashes involving these types of drivers, and many believe that the tabulations are underreported. Reports are usually based on the observations of first responders.

Some attributes are common to drowsy driving-related motor vehicle accidents. The majority of such accidents occur after 12 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and sundown. While the incidence of accidents at night occurs equally in younger and older drivers, motorists who are 25 years of age or less do not generally experience drowsy driving in the afternoon.

Crash characteristics include the increased likelihood of serious accidents. Interpretation of crash data suggests that increased speed may account for this. It correlates with the fact that the crashes occur on highways where the speed limit is higher. Another characteristic is that the driver often fails to avoid the crash. This conclusion might be supported by the lack of skid marks on the roadway. Another is the preponderance of vehicles involved in drowsy driving crashes that leave the road prior to crashing. In addition, the driver is often the sole occupant of the vehicle.

Drowsy driving is a hazard to both the driver and other motorists. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel and injures another individual, the victim may suffer both physical and financial harm. Speaking with an attorney who may review the accident data might be helpful. If appropriate, the attorney may file a personal injury suit to recover damages related to the accident.

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