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Driving while sleep-deprived

Getting sleepy while driving on a long stretch of road in Colorado or other parts of the country increases a driver's chance of getting in a crash. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who only get five to six hours of sleep in a day end up in motor vehicle accidents at twice the rate of drivers who get at least seven hours of sleep.

Those who only sleep for four or five hours in a 24-hour period have quadruple the crash rate of those with seven or more sleep hours. Drivers experiencing this level of sleep deprivation present safety hazards that approach those created by drunk drivers.

Other studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that many Americans suffer from insufficient sleep. Over one-third of people miss sleep regularly. Statistics have shown that drowsy drivers contributed to approximately 20 percent of fatal accidents. An AAA representative has said that people who have gotten less than seven hours of sleep in a given 24-hour period should not try and drive their vehicles.

The number of fatal auto accidents, which had been declining for several years, unfortunately increased in 2015. In that year, more than 35,000 people died around the country in fatal crashes, which represented an increase of more than 7 percent from the previous year. The surviving family members of a person who has been killed in an accident that was caused by a motorist who was nodding off behind the wheel may want to have legal assistance when they attempt to recover compensation for their losses.

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