In the U.S., drowsy driving is a serious problem. After all, drowsy driving contributed to about 91,000 crashes in one year alone. Unfortunately, people drive while tired too often. About one in 25 drivers reported falling asleep while driving in one month.
The CDC thinks the overall number of drowsy driving accidents may be higher.
What happens when you drive while drowsy?
When you are tired, you have limited control over your body. You cannot predict precisely when sleep will overpower your body and you could fall asleep behind the wheel. Even if you manage to stay awake, tiredness is still dangerous. While tired, you have a slower reaction time. You might find it challenging to swerve for obstacles or to brake suddenly. Fatigue reduces your ability to pay attention to the road ahead or to make good decisions.
People who exhibit warning signs for drowsy driving will yawn more often, drift in and out of the wrong lane or hit the rumble strip on the side of the road. While driving, they might seem hypnotized by the road and forget the last several miles.
How often does drowsy driving occur?
Drowsy driving is particularly common for commercial drivers, shift workers and drivers with sleep disorders. If you sleep for less than six hours every night or if you snore, you have a higher chance of becoming drowsy while driving.
To reduce the risk of drowsy driving, you must track your sleep schedule and refrain from taking medications that make you sleepy.