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How dangerous is drowsy driving?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2020 | Car Accidents |

Tennessee drivers like you sometimes decide to drive without getting enough sleep. You may not think this is a big deal. But drowsy driving is actually one of the most dangerous driving decisions you can make. 

Drowsy driving affects your senses and your ability to make decisions. It turns you into a driver to yourself and to everyone else sharing the road with you. 

The toll of drowsy driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention look at the risks of drowsy driving. First, they point out that 1 in 25 drivers reports falling asleep at the wheel within 30 days. This is a huge number of drivers. In 2013, drowsy driving caused a reported 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths. But experts state that these numbers are low. They state that an estimated 6,000 fatal crashes occur because of drowsy driving. 

Where the danger stems from

So what makes drowsy driving dangerous? It essentially impacts drivers in the same way that intoxicated driving does. It slows your ability to react to things around you. You cannot brake as quickly. You may not have good decision-making abilities. You might also be less capable of paying attention to the road. In essence, you lose your ability to pick up and react to danger in a fast, appropriate way. 

Many people are at risk for drowsy driving. You likely know plenty of people who do not get enough sleep before hitting the road. This can include shift workers, drivers with sleep disorders and commercial vehicle drivers. Medications that induce drowsiness also contribute to these crash statistics. Regardless of the reason for it, any instance of drowsy driving can create risk.