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Drowsy driving may factor into nearly 10 percent of crashes

Pennsylvania drivers may be interested to learn that drowsing driving could be a factor in as many as 9.5 percent of car accidents. These figures, which come from a new study, are much higher than U.S. government statistics, which have indicated that drowsy driving is only a factor in about 1 to 2 percent of car accidents.

Part of the problem is that many drivers are not aware of the risks associated with drowsy driving. According to a 2012 study, the hazards of drowsy driving are similar to driving after ingesting alcohol. For example, studies have shown that after about 17 hours without sleep, drivers will function similarly to those who have an alcohol concentration of .05. After 20 to 25 hours without sleep, drivers may function similarly to those who have a blood alcohol concentration of .1 percent, which is over the legal limit.

While it appears that distracted driving and drunk driving remain larger factors in many car accidents, there are no police tests that can confirm if a driver was drowsy when an accident occurred. Furthermore, some drivers might not tell authorities that they were driving while drowsy.

When motorists choose to drive after failing to get enough sleep, they put themselves and everyone else sharing the road at risk. If a catastrophic accident does occur, victims could find themselves dealing with expensive medical care costs, loss of income and other associated damages. A personal injury attorney may deal with the insurance companies involved so that the injured individuals can focus on recovering.

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