Did you know that impaired driving doesn’t just refer to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that drowsy driving is a form of impaired driving? In fact, people who drive when they are tired are engaging in impaired driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). The truth of the matter is that when a driver gets behind the wheel feeling fatigued, he or she is more likely to crash.
So What Exactly Is Drowsy Driving?
A person doesn’t have to fall asleep to be considered a drowsy driver. Although the worst type of drowsy driving is when a driver falls asleep at the wheel, drowsy driving can also include tiredness that causes a driver’s alertness, attention, judgment, reactions, and decisions to be slowed and negatively impacted.
Although some drowsy driving accidents have been caused by those with sleep disorders, drowsy driving crashes are also frequently caused by shift workers, truck drivers, young male drivers, and people who sleep less than six hours per night, according to NHTSA. However, it is important to note that no one is immune from drowsy driving.
Drowsy Driving Statistics
Drowsy driving is a very serious problem on our roadways. In fact, 846 fatalities occurred due to drowsy-driving-related crashes in 2014, per NHTSA statistics. And about 83,000 collisions and 37,000 injuries take place every year due to drowsy drivers. Although the majority of drowsy driving accidents happen between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., many drowsy-driving accidents occur in the late afternoon—when a person’s body is experiencing a dip in circadian rhythm. Additionally, drowsy driving crashes take place in the morning due to drivers not getting adequate sleep the night before. Unfortunately, drivers can be affected by sleepiness during the day and night, which can affect their ability to drive safely.
Drivers who get behind the wheel when they are tired have the ability to not only injure themselves but to cause injuries to other motorists and pedestrians. Because drowsy driving accidents have a tendency to cause serious injuries and fatalities, it is critical that all drivers get seven to eight hours of sleep every night and never get behind the wheel when feeling sleepy.
To help us minimize needless drowsy driving accidents, please share this article on Facebook with your friends and family to remind them just how dangerous it can be to drive tired.