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Some fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy driving

Many drivers here in Colorado may recollect a time when they drove when they were really too tired to do so. Keeping their eyes open may have been a challenge, and they were lucky to make it home safely. Sadly, drowsy driving causes a significant number of fatal motor vehicle accidents that occur each year.

In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that by Nov. 2014, approximately 21 percent of the fatal crashes that occurred in the country were attributed to a drowsy driver. In the previous study conducted by the foundation in 2010, that percentage was "only" 16.5 percent. That means that the number of sleep-deprived drivers sharing the roadways with other people has increased dramatically.

A subsequent report released in Dec. 2016 indicated that the chances of being involved in a crash after having only one or two hours of sleep increases significantly. To put that into perspective, many sources indicate that the average adult needs about seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period to function well. Even as approximately 96 percent of people surveyed agreed that drowsy driving is dangerous, they also did not think the dangers apply to them.

In this fast-paced world, adequate sleep is often viewed as a luxury. The problem is that lack of it puts everyone on the road at risk. When fatal motor vehicle accidents occur, the families who lose loved ones due to a drowsy driver may need help in obtaining the necessary evidence to prove that a driver negligently got behind the wheel knowing that he or she was too tired to drive. Successfully documenting this point before a Colorado civil court could result in an award of damages that may defray the financial losses associated with these needless, and in many cases preventable, deaths.

Source: aaafoundation.org, "Drowsy Driving", Accessed on Oct. 2, 2017

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