Drivers get arrested every day for drunk driving. Many others get in trouble for distracted driving either because they violate state law where they live or because they cause a crash while not paying attention to the road.
Reckless choices like texting at the wheel and drunk driving cause many crashes, and certainly contribute to everyone’s risk on the road. However, there are also other, significantly unsafe actions that people often don’t think twice about engaging in. For example, getting behind the wheel when someone feels fatigued or drowsy is an example of very unsafe behavior. Why is drowsy driving such a major safety concern for modern motorists?
1. Fatigue negatively affects driving skill
The most obvious risk of driving while drowsy is the possibility that someone might fall asleep at the wheel. A small but significant number of drivers do realize they lose consciousness while driving because they feel so tired. For every driver who falls asleep, there are others who might experience microsleep, which may not lead to someone totally but instead losing conscious awareness for several seconds.
Finally, those who remain awake won’t have the same skill they would after getting sufficient rest. Fatigued drivers often have difficulty staying focused and are more likely to make the wrong choice or have delayed reaction times. Many experts compare how drowsiness affects the brain to the consequences of alcohol intoxication. The longer someone is gone without sufficient sleep, the more their fatigue will likely affect their driving skill and safety.
2. Drowsy driving is an epidemic
It is all but impossible for researchers to honestly evaluate how many people drive while tired. However, when one considers the large number of professionals who report not getting enough sleep, the truth is that there may be a very alarming number of drowsy drivers on the road on any given day. While there may not be any kind of chemical test that can confirm that someone was tired at the wheel, their behavior could still leave them open to both insurance claims and civil lawsuits.
Learning more about the choices that lead to car crashes can help people who are concerned about avoiding causing a wreck. This knowledge can also prove to be valuable in the wake of a wreck, as informed injury victims are less likely to make assumptions about the ins and outs of their case before seeking legal guidance.