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Sleepy drivers putting Texans at risk

An August 2016 report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that more than 83 million drivers hit the road with too little sleep on a daily basis. The GHSA analysis said that younger drivers, like teenagers, are in more danger of being involved in wrecks. These age groups play a role in more than 50 percent of all fatigue-related crashes each year, and some estimates claim drowsy-driver crashes account for some $109 billion in annual societal costs.

According to news sources, the report's authors suggested that states implement improved methodologies to gather data on the extent of the problem. Researchers also said that programs designed to provide teen drivers with better education and heighten general awareness could potentially help.

The findings characterized drowsy driving as an "extreme danger." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also added tired drivers to the same impaired category formerly reserved for distracted and drunk motorists. In the year preceding the report's publication, vehicle fatalities in the U.S. rose 7.7 percent, and experts stress the need for further research into contributing factors. One GHSA director noted that police officials aren't typically trained on how to identify overly tired motorists and that some of these drivers fail to report the crashes they're involved in.

People who are injured in motor vehicle accidents that are caused by sleep-deprived drivers can often face long periods of expensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. In many cases their financial circumstances are worsened by an inability to return to gainful employment. A personal injury attorney can often be of assistance in seeking compensation from the negligent motorist.

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