You enjoy your morning drive to work, but today is different. You enter the highway as usual, but the vehicle in front of you seems to swerve back and forth every so often. To avoid a collision, you attempt to overtake the driver.
Seconds later, the driver enters your lane and causes a serious accident. Just before it happened, you noticed the driver’s eyes weren’t open. He’d fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem on the roads. People who don’t get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel could fall asleep or be easily distracted, leading to serious consequences.
Why is drowsy driving so dangerous?
Drowsy driving makes it harder for drivers to pay attention to the roads. They have slowed reaction times and don’t make decisions quickly. They may not pay attention to the road, putting everyone in danger if the driver leaves his or her lane or fails to stop for slowing traffic or traffic light.
Drowsy driving can affect anyone, which is the scariest thing about it. Whether it’s a mother who didn’t sleep enough before driving her kids to school or a truck driver who has a sleep disorder, both have the potential to cause a serious accident.
How common is drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving affects many people, and it’s hard to set a specific number because of the people who don’t get caught. What is known is that around 1 in 25 adult drivers have reported falling asleep behind the wheel within the last month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that up to 6,000 fatal crashes are related to drowsy driving every year.
There is no excuse for drowsy driving. It puts you and others at risk. Crashes often result in serious injuries or deaths that were preventable.