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Residents and tourists in Las Vegas know that driving while intoxicated is illegal and dangerous. But what they may not realize is that drowsy driving can be just as hazardous as drunk driving.

Sounds outlandish, doesn’t it? But that’s precisely what a new study from France has determined. After studying crash records over a three-year period, researchers concluded that driving while drowsy doubles your odds of causing an auto accident – just like driving under the influence does.

Plus, drowsy driving is much more commonplace in the U.S. than drunk driving, largely because there is no law against it (except in New Jersey). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates than over 100,000 accidents each year are directly caused by drivers who are fatigued or tired. And a 2005 study revealed that 3 out of 5 American drivers had driven drowsy at least once in the previous year.

Because drowsy driving is just as perilous as drunk driving, this fact can affect the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from an auto accident. After all, a driver who was shown to be drowsy is more likely to be held accountable for the consequences of his or her actions.

If you are involved in a collision with a motorist whom you think may be drowsy, be sure to look for signs of tiredness and fatigue. These may include excessive yawning, baggy or bloodshot eyes, or even a declaration of being tired or sleepy. Also, the absence of skid marks at a crash scene may indicate that the driver was too sleepy to make an effort to avoid the collision.

If you have been victimized in a wreck caused by a drowsy driver, be sure to contact a qualified auto accident attorney as soon as possible.