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Study reveals frequency of drowsy driving in the US

On behalf of of Frederick & Hagle posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

For many drivers, when the symptoms of exhaustion begin to set in, they make every effort to fight the urge to sleep to complete their trip.

Unfortunately, this habit can lead to dangerous motor vehicle accidents. In fact, a recent study revealed that motorists who drive when fatigued cause a significant number of motor vehicle collisions.

According to the study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, drowsy drivers cause approximately 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. This research changes researchers’ previous outlook on the dangers of drowsy driving. In the past, fatigued motorists were only blamed for two to three percent of collisions on our roads.

The study was conducted in a so-called natural environment. In other words, the participants in the study were observed while they were going about their regular duties, driving to and from work in a major metropolitan area. Sensors and video cameras were installed in the participants’ vehicles, to allow the researchers to conclude when they narrowly escaped an accident and when they were fatigued.

The researchers discovered that drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 were the most likely to cause a crash due to fatigue. In addition, just 38 of the over 100 participants in the study were responsible for the 82 motor vehicle accidents at 761 narrow misses that took place while their behaviors were being observed.

Individuals who have been harmed in drowsy driver accidents would be wise to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure their rights are protected.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Driver Fatigue Causes 20% of Auto Crashes: Study,” Susan Trulove, April 15, 2013.

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