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Drowsy driving: A danger to drivers on U.S. roadways

Drowsy driving is a danger to those who are behind the wheel, their passengers and others on the roads. The National Sleep Foundation reported that 60 percent of adult drivers reported driving while drowsy in the last year, according to the last Sleep in America poll from 2005.

Drowsy driving has significant costs. It causes accidents that result in jail sentences and fines for drivers as well as injuries or deaths. Families of victims have been awarded multimillion-dollar settlements when filing claims against those who drove while drowsy. To prevent fines and penalties, drivers need to know how to prevent drowsy driving.

One key thing to remember is that people tend to feel drowsy on long, high-speed drives more than on short, suburban drives. Most crashes and near-misses take place between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., when drivers are more likely to be getting up early or getting home late.

Around a quarter of adults in American can say that they know someone who has crashed due to falling asleep behind the wheel. That's a significant portion of people to admit to knowing of someone driving while drowsy or sleep deprived, which shows the importance of addressing this issue in the home. Approximately 60 percent of parents with children who drive admitted that they hadn't spoken to their children about drowsy driving, but it's vital to do so. Education can go a long way in preventing crashes.

If you're struck because someone has fallen asleep behind the wheel, you can pursue a claim. You don't deserve to lose your income or to end up in debt because of another person's actions.

Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Facts and Stats," accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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