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Fatigued drivers increase risk of auto accidents

Many Lafayette residents have been victims of car accidents or know family, friends or loved ones who have suffered serious injuries due to car crashes. People drive their cars everywhere, from their homes to their place of work, the supermarket, on vacations, or to meet with friends and family. With people spending so much time behind the wheel, driver fatigue has become a major safety issue. A driver who is tired and drowsy is likely to lose focus over the road and is no different than any other distracted driver who may cause a car accident.

Although official statistics issued by the government indicate the percentage of car accidents caused by fatigued or drowsy drivers ranges from one to three percent, other research suggests that many more car accidents can be attributed to drowsy driving.

Some researchers claim that the underestimation of drowsy driving accidents by government researchers is due to the fact that police accident investigations rely heavily on the evidenced collected, and a fatigued driver cannot be chemically tested to prove his or her distraction, as opposed to a drunk driver who can be tested for intoxication.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that 21 percent of fatal car accidents may be attributed to fatigued driving. In addition, 13 percent of all car accidents that resulted in the hospitalization of a victim involved a fatigued driver.

Recovering from such serious injuries can lead to exorbitant medical bills and lost income due to time lost from work. When an accident victim dies, they may leave dependent family members without a breadwinner. Injured victims and the surviving dependents of those killed may wish to consult experienced attorneys about bringing a lawsuit to recover compensation for the economic losses incurred along with the pain and suffering caused to the victim and the family.

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, "Prevalence of motor vehicle crashes involving drowsy drivers, United States, 2009-2013," Nov. 2014

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