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Drowsy driving results in a risk of serious crashes

Everyone has done it. You've gone without enough sleep, but you still have to get to work or school. You get behind the wheel while you're still waking up. You're not paying attention, because you're tired.

You feel rushed, obligated to be on time and can't make excuses, so you get behind the wheel of your vehicle despite being in no shape to do so. This can, and does, lead to crashes.

The fact is that drowsy driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. It's particularly common when it's dark outside, like in the early morning or evening, since lengths of time in the dark naturally makes the body tired. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that proportionally, drowsiness in crashes is three times more likely at night.

While monitoring over 3,500 people in six places across the United States, the foundation collected data showing that drowsiness played a role in crashes in 8.8 to 9.5 percent of the time. How does this compare to other causes of collisions?

Looking at cellphone use, around 21 percent of crashes involved them in 2013 compared to the 9.5 percent of people driving while drowsy. The real issue is that these two factors that led to crashes can happen to the same driver at the same time. That's what makes them so dangerous.

People need to be awake behind the wheel. If you're too tired to drive, take a ride-share service or cab. It's never worth getting into an accident. If someone hits you, you can pursue a claim to help you cover your expenses.

Source: CNN, "Drowsy driving is a factor in almost 10% of crashes, study finds," Erin Gabriel, Feb. 08, 2018

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