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Too many Americans are driving drowsy, AASM survey finds

Drowsy driving is 100% preventable, and so it is an act of negligence when one engages in it. Every year in Oklahoma and across the U.S., drowsy driving leads to an average of 328,000 auto accidents, 6,400 of which are fatal. This is according to a report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

As for just how many Americans are driving drowsy, one can get a good idea from the results of a survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. A total of 2,003 U.S. adults responded to the AASM's Sleep Prioritization Survey, and 45% admitted that they have had to struggle to stay awake behind the wheel. The trend is considered a public health concern.

There is no long-lasting solution to it, either, except regular, healthy sleep. Adults are to sleep at least seven hours each night. Those who experience chronic, excessive fatigue no matter how long they sleep may have obstructive sleep apnea or another disorder.

There are various measures one can take when faced with drowsiness on the road. On long trips, drivers can switch places with someone else in the car. If they are alone, drivers can pull over for a nap. They can drink caffeinated beverages. It is a myth, though, that rolling down the windows and playing loud music help.

Drowsy drivers who cause car accidents can expect that their auto insurance company will face a claim. As for the victims themselves, they can file as long as their degree of fault is less than the defendant's. They may want a lawyer to assist with the case because insurance companies may try to force them into an unreasonably low settlement. A lawyer might handle negotiations so that the settlement covers all medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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