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Making a case for drowsy driving

While most in Monmouth are likely very confident in their own driving skills, it’s often the reckless actions of others that lead to car accidents. In some cases, evidence indicating recklessness is readily apparent. Oftentimes, however, making a case for negligence can be quite a challenge.

Evidence exists showing that drowsy drivers present a great danger to others on the road around them. Information collected by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and shared by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association shows that from 1999-2008, fatigued drivers were the cause of 16.5 percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. Averaged out against other factors, that makes drowsy driving the third most-likely cause of a fatal car accident, behind only drunk driving and speeding.

Yet actually proving that drowsy driving was the cause of a fatal accident can be extremely difficult. There is no scientific test to indicate one’s level of fatigue. There are, however, certain indicators that may lead to a reasonable conclusion that fatigue definitely could have contributed to an accident.

According to DrowsyDriving.org, these are the groups that are most at risk for experiencing fatigue behind the wheel:

  •          Adults between the ages of 18-29
  •          Adults with young children in their households
  •          Shift workers

Beyond these factors, it’s been shown that fatigue-related crashes are more likely to occur in rural as opposed to urban areas. Plus, these crashed typically happen during the hours of 12:00-2:00 a.m., 4:00-6:00 a.m., and 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Alert and attentive drivers rarely cause accidents. Thus, if vehicle issues and alcohol impairment are ruled out as causes of an accident, the next logical step may be to consider drowsy driving, especially if a combination of any of the aforementioned factors is present. 

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