Drowsy driving is a serious issue on the roads and highways today. It occurs when a person is tired, fatigued, or exhausted and operates a motor vehicle. In this blog, we will discuss the risks of driving while tired, the types of drivers more likely to drive drowsy, and offer some startling statistics about this dangerous practice.
Risks of Drowsy Driving
Driving while drowsy can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drowsiness can impair memory, judgment, reaction time, and decision-making. As a result, drowsy drivers can have difficulty maintaining focus or staying awake behind the wheel, increasing the chances of a severe accident.
Some of the most common risks associated with drowsy driving include the following:
- Slower reaction times
- Decreased awareness of surroundings
- Poor decision-making skills
- Difficulty focusing or keeping eyes open
- Nodding off or falling asleep at the wheel
Types of Drivers More Likely to Drive Drowsy
Though anyone can fall asleep behind the wheel, some groups have been identified as more at risk for driving while drowsy. These include:
- Commercial truck drivers or long-haul drivers who spend long hours on the road.
- Shift workers or workers with inconsistent sleep schedules.
- Individuals who suffer from sleep apnea, insomnia, or other sleep disorders.
- Individuals who take medications that cause drowsiness.
- Young drivers aged 16-24 years of age.
Statistics on Drowsy Driving
The statistics on drowsy driving are alarming. Here are some examples from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
- An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers has reported falling asleep while driving in the past 30 days.
- Drowsy driving crashes account for an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in economic losses each year.
- 16-24-year-olds are more likely than any other age group to cause drowsy driving crashes.
These statistics paint a sobering picture of the dangers of drowsy driving. In most cases, these accidents are entirely preventable, but drivers must recognize the risks and take steps to stay safe on the road.
Tips for Avoiding Drowsy Driving
The best way to avoid drowsy driving is to get enough rest before getting behind the wheel. However, when this isn’t possible, there are some strategies that can help.
Some tips for avoiding drowsy driving include:
- Take breaks every two hours of driving to stretch your legs, drink some water or coffee, and get some fresh air.
- Share the driving duties with someone else if you’re on a long trip.
- Avoid driving during the hours you would typically be asleep.
- Avoid driving after consuming medications that could make you drowsy.
- Listen to engaging audio content or talk radio to help maintain alertness.
Drowsy driving is a serious danger on our roads, and it’s essential to recognize the risks and ensure that you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel. Remember, if you’re feeling tired or exhausted, it’s best to pull over and take a break, venture out and stretch your legs or grab some coffee.
By being aware of the risks and taking steps to stay safe, we can all help to prevent the tragic consequences associated with drowsy driving. If you or someone you love has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, speaking with Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Call us today at (954) 467-8800 for a free initial consultation about your injury claim.