Texas residents don’t expect car accidents to happen to them. However, there are many factors that can lead to one. One of them, drowsy driving, is considered as dangerous as drunk driving.
The problem of drowsy driving
Drowsy driving occurs when a driver is overly fatigued. Many factors can cause this problem: not enough sleep, shift work, certain medications and even the onset of Daylight Saving Time.
Drowsy driving is considered just as serious a problem as drunk driving because it causes a person to be impaired. Even if a driver doesn’t fall asleep, they can easily lose control of their driving and begin to drift off the road or into a different lane.
How drowsy driving affects everyone on the road
When a person gets behind the wheel while overly tired, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk of a serious car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 80,000 crashes each year caused by drowsy driving. Around 37,000 of those accidents result in personal injury while nearly 900 accidents result in fatalities. However, the NHTSA also states that these numbers are lower estimates and that there might be as many as 6,000 fatal car accidents caused by drowsy driving each year.
Drowsy driving has long been compared with drunk driving due to the effects it has on a driver. It causes drivers to lose focus on the road and the task of steering. Like drunk driving, when you drive while drowsy, your reaction time is much slower, as is your ability to make judgment calls.
Signs of drowsy driving
Frequent yawning and blinking often mean you’re driving while drowsy. Drifting out of lanes, hitting barriers and missing exits are other signs you’re too fatigued to drive.
Avoiding driving when you’re fatigued is the best way to prevent a tragic drowsy driving accident.