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Waukegan car accident lawyerAmericans overwhelmingly do not get as much sleep as they should. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours a night. However, busy work schedules, child care tasks, and other responsibilities often take precedence over sleep. The CDC estimates that 38 – 44 percent of Illinois adults get less than the recommended amount of sleep each night. When a person is sleep-deprived, their brain is not functioning at an optimal level. This is why fatigue is such a large contributor to injury-causing car accidents.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel

Sleep deprivation can cause memory issues, difficulties with concentration and problem-solving, and slowed reaction times. Some sleep-deprived individuals even experience episodes of “microsleep” where they fall asleep for a few seconds without even realizing it. This makes drowsy driving extremely dangerous. Alcohol and drug use can significantly exacerbate the dangers of sleepiness behind the wheel. Shockingly, one in 25 drivers admits to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the previous month. It is estimated that drowsy driving causes up to 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Drowsy Driving

Although driving while fatigued is not against the law like driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, a fatigued driver may still be at fault for a car accident if his or her sleepiness contributed to the accident. Through a personal injury claim, an individual injured in a drowsy driving accident could be entitled to compensation for his or her losses. An accident victim may receive compensation for his or her medical expenses, property damage, lost income due to missed work, reduced employability, pain and suffering, and much more. However, in order to collect compensation, the injured person and his or her attorney will need to prove that the sleepy driver’s actions caused the accident. Proving fault in a car accident is often a very difficult task. Fortunately, an experienced car accident lawyer can help. Demonstrating that a drowsy driver’s actions led to an accident may involve analysis of physical evidence as well as testimony from expert witnesses such as accident reconstruction experts, highway safety experts, engineers, and doctors.

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Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Over the past several years, the increase in how many people use smartphones has also had a dramatic effect on the increase in car crashes caused by distracted driving. Millions of drivers admit to dangerous driving behavior, such as text messaging or other activities on their phone. However, two MIT professors have developed a smartphone app which can actually help decrease the number of distracted driving accidents.

The app, called DriveWell, collects data while running in the background of the driver’s smartphone, and is able to detect when driving begins and ends. According to the app’s description, it uses low-power sensing methods and therefore has a limited impact on the phone’s battery. (Users should keep in mind, however, that the app uses GPS, which may have an impact on the phone’s battery life.)

Some of that data includes speeding, driving smoothness, distractions from the phone, as well as what type of road the person is driving on. The app grades the driver on how well – or how poorly – their driving habits are. Scores range from 1 to 100. These scores can be used to get discounts and prizes from participating insurance companies. Drivers can compete with friends and even other drivers around the world to come up with the best score.

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