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New report: drowsy driving is an extreme danger

A new report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association focuses on the problem of drowsy driving on American roadways. The study concluded that drowsy driving is likely a bigger problem than figures indicate. Researchers also offered ideas about what states like New York can do to confront and deal with the problem.

According to the report, millions of Americans do not get enough sleep each night. This results in about 83.6 million drivers being sleep deprived every day. Drowsy driving leads to 5,000 annual fatalities and a financial cost of $109 billion each year.

The report was issued at a time when deaths from motor vehicle accidents increased 7.7 percent in 2015. According to researchers, a person who goes 24 hours without sleeping might behave like someone whose blood alcohol levels read at 0.10 percent, which is above the legal drinking limit. Age plays a role in drowsy driving as teenagers and young adults have higher chances of getting into an accident due to drowsy driving. In addition, people who work overnight or long shifts also tend to drive when overly tired and therefore are at higher risks for accidents.

The are some challenges when it comes to combating drowsy driving. The first is that there is no clear protocol set up or training offered so that police officers can effectively recognize drowsy driving on the road. Another challenge is that at-fault drivers will often not fess up to their drowsiness because they don't want to be penalized for their behavior.

Drowsy driving can lead to deaths and injuries. Individuals who were injured in an accident that was caused by drowsy driving may choose to pursue a civil claim for injuries.

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