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Drowsy driving can be deadly

Though the calendar changes, some problems persist year after year. One such problem involves people who drive even though they are drowsy. We saw what can happen in these situations next door to us in Fairfax County.

A 38-year-old woman was killed on Route 15 in Loudoun County when her car was struck head-on by a Jeep that crossed the center of the road just before 7:30 a.m. The 26-year-old man who was driving the Jeep had apparently fallen asleep behind the wheel.

After the violent crash, the Jeep driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The short newspaper article we read about the crash had few details. We do not know if the woman was a mother or a wife or a sister, but we can be sure that her family is grieving this senseless loss.

The National Sleep Foundation says that more than a third of all drivers who participated in a survey reported that they had fallen asleep while driving. It's a startling figure.

Thirteen percent of all drivers say that they doze off behind the wheel about once a month. About 4 percent say they have been in a motor vehicle accident or near-accident because they were driving while drowsy.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it estimates that driver fatigue is responsible for 100,000 crashes annually, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths and more than 70,000 injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, you can speak with an experienced Fairfax County attorney about full and fair compensation for damages.

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