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Is a tired driver to blame for your car accident?

When you think of common reasons why car accidents happen, it is likely that distracted driving, speeding and drunk driving are at the top of your list. These are all dangerous behaviors, but they are not the only reason why car accidents happen in California. In fact, one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accident collisions is fatigue.

Many people underestimate the danger of driving while tired. Exhaustion can have a negative impact on a person's ability to drive a car, and it can ultimately lead to a higher chance of an accident. Like other types of negligent driving, fatigue is dangerous, and each driver is responsible for knowing when he or she is not able to safely operate a vehicle.

A widespread problem that you may not know about

Fatigued driving may be more common than you think. According to the American Sleep Foundation, approximately half of all drivers get behind the wheel while drowsy. As many as 20 percent of people admit they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point. People who are tired likely do not think about the danger they pose to themselves and every other person on the road. Some of the ways that being tired can affect a person's ability to drive include the following:

  • If a person tries to drive after 20 hours with no sleep, it is the same as if he or she attempts to operate a car with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent.
  • Drowsiness affects a person's ability to focus on the task at hand, react to hazards and make smart decisions. The more tired a person is, the more dangerous he or she is behind the wheel.
  • Unfortunately, many people do not know or acknowledge the signs that they are too tired to drive at the time. The signs of fatigue are not always easily identifiable.

If you are the victim of an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you have the right to seek compensation through a claim against the liable driver.

Don't sleep on your right to seek recompense

Drowsy driving is dangerous driving, and you do not have to suffer the consequences of another driver's actions alone. You could have valid grounds to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim, but it is beneficial to first seek an explanation of the options available to you. It is in your interests to act quickly after an accident to preserve important evidence and start the claims process.

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