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You were hit by a drowsy driver in Charleston, West Virginia, in which case you may be able able to file a claim against him or her. In fact, you may be considered fortunate in at least one regard because most drowsy drivers who cause a crash are not detected and, thus, go without having to face a clear accusation of negligence.

To illustrate the point, there are some 100,000 police-reported drowsy driving crashes every year. Yet the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety puts the actual number of drowsy driving crashes at around 328,000 with 109,000 involving injuries and 6,400 ending in death.

How drowsiness affects drivers

Drowsiness can raise a driver’s risk for a car crash by 300%. The reason lies in how it impairs a driver’s attention, judgment and ability to react quickly to dangers. Severely sleep-deprived drivers may experience four- to five-second periods of inattention without knowing it. These periods, called microsleep, can cause a driver on the highway to travel the whole length of a football field while virtually blind.

Possible drowsy driving interventions

Adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. This is ultimately the only long-term solution to drowsy driving. Those who continually feel tired even after a long rest may have a sleep disorder.

Various interventions are possible for reducing drowsy driving crashes. Drivers could install crash avoidance tech like drowsiness alert and lane departure warning systems. Parents can come up with a drowsy driving rule with their teenagers. Universities can create an educational program to encourage healthy behavior among its students, many of whom struggle to get even six hours of sleep.

A lawyer to guide you through this time

Most car accidents are caused by negligence of one form or another, and drowsy driving is among the most underreported causes. However, just because the driver who injured you is clearly at fault does not mean it will be easy to achieve a fair settlement. You may want an attorney to help you through this trying time.