Drivers face many risks on the road. Some are avoidable, while others happen without much warning. Unfortunately, distracted driving always falls under the former category. A driver can and should do everything they can to avoid hitting the road while tired.
But just how does drowsy driving contribute to crashes? In what ways does drowsiness make the road less safe for everyone?
Risks of sleeping at the wheel
The Sleep Foundation looks at all the risks that drowsy driving can pose. First, drowsy driving does contribute to instances of fatal crashes on the road. Unfortunately, many of these fatalities occur when a driver falls asleep at the wheel. This renders them incapable of reacting to dangers around them, which often leads to a driver careening off the side of the road. Sometimes they even travel through the barrier into oncoming traffic.
But even if a drowsy driver stays awake, this does not mean they will be much safer. Drowsiness actually impacts drivers in a way similar to intoxication. Many drivers will suffer from similar issues. This can include trouble with coordination and the inability to focus or concentrate. Drivers also struggle to identify and react to encroaching dangers. For example, many rear-end crashes happen with drowsy drivers because they simply cannot stop their car in time to avoid a collision.
Despite the dangers of drowsy driving, the rate of crashes and fatalities continues to rise every year. This is why there is a concentrated push to continue bringing awareness to the dangers involved in driving drowsy. After all, driving drowsy is not a victimless crime.