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Fatigued driving can have serious consequences, researchers say

Here in Norman, we all know there are many different types of distracted driving. Many of us even witness them every day. We see drivers texting on their cellphones, eating a sandwich, reaching down to grab something on the floor, or turning around to shush the kids in the backseat. It is easy to see how all of these distractions can lead to a car accident. One type of distracted driving, however, is very difficult to spot, but researchers say it is a leading cause of car accidents.

Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute say that drowsy driving is a huge factor in car accidents across the country. While previous studies showed fatigue was only involved in a handful of crashes, the most recent study found that one in five car accidents was caused by drowsy driving.

Now that we know that fatigue is more destructive than other types of distracted driving, it is important that drivers in the Norman area be aware of when they may be feeling too tired to drive. Although many people would say that sleepiness is the biggest problem at night, researchers found that fatigued driving is just as much of a problem in the mornings and afternoons.

Clearly, drowsy driving is a problem in our country. And while you can make sure you are rested enough to drive safely, there is little you can do to prevent others from driving while drowsy. If you are involved in an accident and suspect the driver who caused it was drowsy at the time, it may be worthwhile to talk to an attorney about a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: WDBJ 7, "Virginia Tech research focuses on fatigue as the leading cause of distracted driving crashes," Joe Dashiell, April 16, 2013

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