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Study: Fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers

Everyone who drives in New York City is aware of the dangers posed to motorists and pedestrians by drunk drivers. Few are aware, however, that fatigued drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers -- and more plentiful.

According to a new AAA study, drowsy drivers are just as dangerous as alcohol-impaired drivers and cause even more motor vehicle crashes that result in injuries and fatalities.

The AAA study says that drowsy driving crashes are grossly underreported. The organization said its research indicates that 9.5 percent of all car wrecks involve fatigued drivers. AAA said that drowsiness is also a significant factor in 10.8 percent of the most serious accidents. Compare those figures to the 1 to 2 percent of accidents attributed to fatigued drivers by federal agencies.

AAA's researchers used dashboard cameras to track the head and eye movements of 3,500 study participants over several months. Those head and eye movements were then analyzed to pinpoint drowsy drivers. The research also included cameras recording traffic activity.

According to a news report, AAA says that the only cure for fatigue is the obvious one: sleep. Drivers who feel drowsy should get off the streets immediately and get rest. Drowsy travelers are advised to pull over into a rest stop to take a 20-minute nap.

An AAA safety expert says coffee, music, conversation and rolling down the windows are ineffective in making fatigued drivers alert.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a drowsy, drunk or distracted driver, contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation. A skilled lawyer helps you fight for full compensation for all damages.

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