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Driving while tired can be dangerous in Pennsylvania

Not getting enough sleep has been associated with weight gain and depression, but research also indicates that a lack of shut-eye seriously increases a driver's risk of being involved in a car accident. It is estimated that about 20 percent of crashes in the United States are associated with a motorist not getting enough rest. Recent research, based on data obtained from the NHTSA's National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, demonstrates that not getting at least seven hours of sleep a night can increase your risk of an accident.

People who get only five or six hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to be in an accident as those who get seven hours of sleep. Those who get five hours of sleep or less are about four times as likely to end up in a crash.

The report, released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, was based on data made available by the NHTSA. The National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey contains information about police-reported crashes where at least one vehicle had to be towed away from the scene of the accident and accidents where emergency services had to be called. Police would ask people how much sleep they had gotten and include this information in their reports.

Even minor car accidents can lead to expensive damages. It is not uncommon for crashes to result in medical bills, lost wages, car rental fees and vehicle repairs. Car accident victims are normally reimbursed by an insurance company, but many agencies will try to settle for the least amount possible. This can leave individuals having to pay out of pocket for expenses that should have been covered. However, a lawyer might be able to help someone obtain appropriate compensation.

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