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Drowsy driving report points out dangers

On any given day or night, there are a lot of sleep-deprived people driving around in Massachusetts. Though the behavior is dangerous, drowsy driving is often overlooked as a leading cause of fatal car accidents. A report has pointed out the dangers of drowsy driving, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to include drowsy driving in its list of impaired driving causes alongside drugged, drunk and distracted driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit organization that represents state highway safety offices, released its report ‘Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do” on Aug. 8. Some of the key findings in the report concerned drowsy driving-related fatal crash statistics. According to the report, there were around 5,000 people killed by drowsy drivers in 2015, and the financial toll of those deaths cost the nation around $109 billion. The report indicated that more than 80 million sleep-deprived people are driving around the United States every day. However, there could be a lot more drowsy drivers than researchers are able to gauge, as many drowsy drivers do not admit that they need more sleep. Law enforcement officers are also lacking protocols to identify drowsy driving during traffic stops. If people cause an accident because they were sleep-deprived, they may not face the same criminal consequences that they would if they were driving drunk. However, a drowsy driver can still be sued for damages by an injured victim through a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney.