The multi-car collision involving Tracy Morgan has reinvigorated the conversation regarding the dangers of drowsy driving.

As actor and comedian Tracy Morgan continues to recover from the serious injuries he suffered in a six-car accident recently, questions are emerging regarding the truck driver who allegedly caused the collision.

According to reports, the truck driver involved in the accident had not slept for at least 24 hours prior to the multi-car collision. A limousine van carrying Morgan was also involved in the collision. In addition to the injuries suffered by the 30 Rock star, other passengers in the van were injured and one was killed.

The truck driver has since been charged with causing death by auto and assault by auto. He is currently free on bail.

The collision has brought the issue of drowsy driving to the forefront, as safety experts weigh in on the frequency with which fatigue causes serious collisions across the country. Unfortunately, these auto accidents are all too common.

The danger of drowsy driving in the United States

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial motor vehicle operators are one of the groups of people most likely to get behind the wheel when fatigued. In addition, individuals suffering from sleep disorders and those who take medications that cause drowsiness are particularly at risk of drowsy driving.

In all, it is likely that drowsy drivers are responsible for between 5,000 and 6,000 deadly accidents annually, according to the CDC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that fatigued motorists cause about 2.5 percent of all auto accidents that result in a fatality.

While motorists impaired by alcohol are likely to call a taxi, those who are fatigued often try to push through the drowsiness. The consequences of such a decision can be disastrous.

Motorists can take steps to ensure they are alert when they get behind the wheel. The National Institutes of Health recommend that adults sleep for a minimum of seven or eight hours each night to avoid fatigue. In addition, those who suffer from sleep disorders – such as sleep apnea – should look into getting treatment to obtain a restful night’s sleep.

Finally, motorists should be particularly cautious when taking medications that cause drowsiness. The recommended doses often change when it is discovered that drowsiness persists in the morning, even if the medication was taken the night before.

A fatigued motorist who causes an auto accident should be held accountable for the damage caused in the crash. If you or a loved one has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, consider talking to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, who will take steps to make certain your interests are protected.

Keywords: drowsy driving, auto accidents

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