In a society that never seems to stop, it is no wonder that tired drivers plague our roads every day. We seem to be busier than ever and encouraged to push ourselves beyond our limits. The result? People seem to be more fatigued than ever. Fatigue can have devastating impacts on our health, quality of life, and our safety. Consider, for instance, the dangers of tired drivers pose to the rest of us on the road. Let’s take a closer look at that here.
Drowsy Driving Puts Others at Risk
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made a commitment to examining the dangers associated with drowsy driving and working to prevent such dangers from putting drivers at risk. NHTSA estimates that, in 2017 alone, there were 91,000 police-reported crashes that involved drowsy drivers. This, however, could be a severe underestimation. Those in the traffic safety, sleep science, and public health communities are in broad agreement that the actual number of those injured each year by drowsy drivers is likely much higher than estimates proclaim. This is due, in great part, to the fact that it is difficult for crash investigators to pin down drowsy driving as the cause of a car crash. They can look for drowsiness clues, but these are often elusive or inconclusive.
There are a number of dangers associated with drowsy driving. After all, drowsy drivers often have slower reaction times, struggle with reflexes, and have an inability to effectively identify dangers on the road in enough time to adequately respond to or avoid them. In this way, drowsy driving mimics driving while intoxicated. The impact drowsiness will have on a driver can also vary greatly depending on the amount of sleep that is lacking. Any level of drowsiness, however, can be dangerous and exponentially increase the likelihood of the drowsy driver causing a crash on the roadway.
Drowsiness has a clear impact on a person’s judgment. It also impacts their physical state of being. On top of all of this, lack of sleep can impact a person emotionally as well. It has been found that drowsy drivers can be more susceptible to sudden bursts of road rage than other, better-rested, calmer drivers.
To help avoid being a dangerous drowsy driver, make sure you are getting enough sleep. Avoid drinking any amount of alcohol before driving as this can exacerbate any fatigue you may already be feeling. You should also be sure to check any prescription medication or over-the-counter medication you may be taking as there may be drowsiness side effect warnings on these labels. It can also be best practice to avoid driving between what has been established as “peak sleepiness” periods. You are more likely to encounter fatigued drivers on the road between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. and in the late afternoon.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you been injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver? Reach out to the team at CDH Law for assistance enforcing your right to full and fair compensation. Contact us today.