Drowsy driving is quickly becoming more common on the roads as over 91,000 road accidents in the United States in 2017 were attributed to drowsy driving. The term “drowsy driving” is not common as many people may be familiar with the concept of drowsy driving however, they may not be aware of its danger.
“Considering the number of accidents that result from drowsy driving, proper awareness must be created to safeguard lives of road users,” says attorney Jay Ruane of Ruane Attorneys at Law. Many drivers are guilty of drowsy driving without even knowing it. Pointing out the inherent dangers in this type of driving will help reduce the number of accidents recorded. If you are involved in an accident due to drowsy driving, the ideal thing to do is to consult with an accident attorney.
What is Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving occurs when a driver is extremely tired while driving. The primary cause of drowsy driving is lack of sufficient sleep. However, other factors such as medication, alcohol, and sleep disorders can contribute to drowsy driving.
A person who has been awake for up to 18 hours or more is likely to have increased reaction times or even fall asleep while driving. At that point, accidents can happen because it becomes difficult for them to concentrate on driving.
Comparing Drowsy Driving with Drunk Driving
There are a lot of similarities between drunk drivers and drowsy drivers. For both drivers, their concentration level is relatively low, thereby increasing the chances of a collision. Additionally, a tired driver with low coordination and impairment level is equivalent to that of a drunken driver with a blood-alcohol level of less than .1 percent.
Effects of Drowsiness on Driving
It is hazardous to drive in an exhausted state as it lowers one’s capability to drive safely. Drowsiness has the following effects on the driver:
- It significantly impacts their ability to make the right decision while behind the wheel
- It makes it more difficult for the driver to fix their attention to the road
- Drowsiness slows down the driver’s reaction time
Facts About Drowsy Driving
- In the United States, 1 out of 25 drivers aged 18 years and above have reportedly fallen asleep while driving at least once within a space of 30 days.
- According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving has resulted in more than 50,000 injuries and above 800 deaths.
Who is at Risk of Drowsy Driving?
Specific individuals are more at risk of drowsy driving than others. The people who fall into this category include drivers suffering from sleep disorders, those who do not get enough sleep, and commercial drivers. Additionally, drivers on medication and those working long shifts are also likely to drive drowsy.
Signs that a Driver is Drowsy Driving
A drowsy driver will likely miss their exit and drift into other lanes while repeatedly yawning and blinking. Another sign that a driver is drowsy is that they hit the rumble strip on the roadside while driving.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is most of the time due to lack of sleep. Therefore, drivers should ensure they get enough sleep, avoid drinking alcohol, and treat sleep disorders to prevent drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving can increase rear-end collisions, tailgating, and slower reaction times. Therefore, drowsy driving can be considered as dangerous as drunk driving. If you have been involved in an accident resulting from drowsy driving, consult an accident lawyer who can guide you on the steps to take to get compensation where necessary.