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What are the dangers of driving while drowsy?

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In our fast-paced world, juggling responsibilities often leads to sleep taking a backseat. However, when someone attempts to drive after not getting a good night’s sleep, problems can happen.

The dangers of driving while drowsy are a serious concern, impacting both the driver and fellow road users.

Less alertness

Drowsy driving caused around 633 deaths in 2020 and many more accidents in general. Driving requires constant alertness, but sleepiness dulls this feeling. Sleep-deprived drivers struggle to stay attentive, risking missed traffic signs and signals.

Worse reaction times

Quick reflexes are essential on the road. Sleepiness, just like drunkenness, slows a person’s reaction time, making it harder to steer clear of hazards. Even a second or two of delay can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding a crash.

Issues with coordination

When someone has to focus on multiple tasks at once, such as steering, braking and signaling, they may fail at more of them the more they become sleep-deprived. This can lead to erratic driving and a higher chance of accidents.

Problems with microsleep

Microsleep episodes, which are brief moments of unconsciousness, can occur when driving while sleepy. These few seconds can result in missed turns, steering off the road or even collisions. Even in familiar surroundings, this failure to pay attention can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Recognizing the signs of fatigue and taking proactive steps to fight against them can save lives. By getting good sleep and respecting rest breaks, drivers can work to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving and create a safer driving environment for everyone.