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Fatigue-related accidents may be reduced with new technology

 Posted on August 26,2015 in Car Accidents

California drivers may be interested to learn that newer technologies are making driving safer. Companies such as Volvo and BMW are introducing devices that help detect when a driver may be getting drowsy and alert the motorist to that possibility.

While it is difficult to measure fatigue as a factor in car accidents due in part to the fact that there is no test for drowsiness as there is for drunk driving, it is estimated that at least 7,500 fatal accidents each year have fatigue as a factor. It was considered one likely cause of the 2014 accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another passenger in his limousine. The truck driver who hit them had been awake for 28 hours.

These new devices function by detecting when a driver makes an error such as slipping into another lane or when a front-end collision is likely. The devices sound an alert, and in some cases, may make a correction such as braking automatically to avoid a collision. Other devices and apps check for driver alertness through checks such as how often the driver is manipulating the steering wheel or by predicting if the driver will become drowsy based on factors such as how much the driver has slept. They sound alarms or flash lights if the driver is not responsive.

Following a motor vehicle accident in which drowsy driving is a factor, injured victims may first choose to contact the responsible driver's insurance company. However, in some cases, the responsible driver may be uninsured or underinsured. The injured victim may be unable to return to work for some time during recovery or may even be permanently disabled. It may then be advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss the advisability of filing a lawsuit against the responsible party seeking compensation for the damages that have been incurred.

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