Drowsy driving suspected in accident involving Tracy Morgan

Drowsy driving is suspected as a factor in the accident involving Tracy Morgan.

Recently, a deadly multi-vehicle accident took place involving the driver of a Wal-Mart truck and a limousine, carrying actor and comedian Tracy Morgan. In all, six vehicles were involved in the crash.

The collision between the two vehicles resulted in one fatality and others - including Morgan - suffered serious injuries that required immediate medical attention. Morgan and the others who were injured are reportedly recovering in the hospital.

Since the accident, reports have emerged alleging that the truck driver had not slept for 24 hours prior to the crash. The driver is currently free on bail and has yet to enter a plea in the case.

This terrible collision is causing many to revisit the serious problem of drowsy driving in the United States. While public awareness campaigns tend to focus on other issues - such as drunk driving and distracted driving - drowsy drivers are also responsible for a significant number of auto accidents in the United States every year.

The dangers of drowsy driving

Drowsy driving has often been compared to drunk driving, as similar behaviors are seen among motorists. For instance, reaction times are slowed when motorists are fatigued or drunk. According to a 2012 study, drunk or fatigued motorists are two times more likely to cause a motor vehicle accident than those who are alert and sober.

In all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy drivers are responsible for around 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year. Of those, approximately 71,000 people suffer personal injuries as a result of the collisions.

In 2012, 737 people lost their lives in auto accidents caused by drowsy drivers, according to the NHTSA.

Drowsy driving does not yet carry the same stigma as drunk driving, and many adults find themselves driving while fatigued on a regular basis. According to a 2002 poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 71 percent of people between 18 and 29 years of age reported that they were "likely" to drive when fatigued. In all, 37 percent of adults admitted that they had fallen asleep at some point since they started driving, based on data from a 2003 Gallup survey.

When a drowsy driver causes an auto accident, he or she should be responsible for compensating the victims of the collision, particularly when those involved are seriously injured or killed. If you or someone you love has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney, who will fight to ensure you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Keywords: drowsy driving, auto accident