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If you were injured at the hands of a distracted driver in Pennsylvania, you may have a case against him or her. This could become clearer as details emerge. For instance, the negligent driver may have been inattentive out of drowsiness.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that there are an estimated 328,000 drowsy driving crashes every year in this country, which is more than triple the number given in official statistics. Of these crashes, an estimated 109,000 involve injuries, and 6,400 end in a fatality. These crashes cost society some $109 billion every year, and that’s not including property damage.

Effect of drowsiness on drivers

Adults are meant to sleep at least seven hours a day. When they are sleep-deprived, they can have their judgment and reaction times impaired as well as become inattentive. Without knowing it, they may experience bursts of inattention that last four to five seconds. During these periods of microsleep, as it’s called, a driver on the highway will travel the length of a football field while being virtually blind.

What you can do to prevent drowsy driving

Drivers under 25 are especially prone to go out while sleep-deprived. Parents of teens could come up with a rule with their teens on drowsy driving, and universities could create educational programs to help instill healthy behavior behind the wheel. Employers could do the same with a program on off-the-job safety.

One ongoing problem that’s contributing to drowsy driving is poor labeling on medications. Some experts are pushing for new guidelines that will give clear warnings on any drowsiness-inducing side effects. Another way to prevent drowsy driving, according to experts, is to install crash-avoidance technologies like drowsiness alerts and lane departure warning.

Getting compensation after a drowsy driving accident

The driver who caused your car accident may have been drowsy and inattentive. When car crashes are clearly the result of negligence, then victims may be eligible for compensation under personal injury law. You might want a lawyer to evaluate your case and assist with the gathering of evidence against the defendant.