Drowsy driving is a significant public safety concern that can have deadly consequences. Every year, countless severe injuries and fatalities are related to fatigue-impaired drivers.
Here are some facts about drowsy driving and minimizing your risk of becoming too tired to drive safely.
Drowsy driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving
It is estimated that over 90,000 car accidents occur each year because people are driving while sleep deprived. In fact, it poses a greater danger than other forms of distracted driving, such as text messaging, alcohol impairment, or vehicle malfunction. Studies have shown that being awake for 24 hours straight can impair a person’s driving ability as much as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10%.
Sleep deprivation affects driving ability in several ways. The driver’s reaction time slows down, making it harder for them to respond quickly to changing situations on the road. They may also have trouble focusing on the task and staying alert. This can lead to lapses in attention and even microsleeps, which are brief periods of sleep that can last from a fraction of a second up to 30 seconds.
It can also impair a person’s decision-making abilities, making it more challenging to make sound judgments while driving. They may take unnecessary risks or fail to recognize dangerous situations on the road.
If you find yourself tired behind the wheel or your reactions are slower than usual, take a break or have someone else drive if possible.
Sadly, most people don’t realize fatigue’s impact on their ability to drive. Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tries to educate the public, many don’t consider it a serious problem. If you’ve been in an accident because someone was driving while sleep deprived, it’s essential that you are compensated for injuries.