Combining drowsiness and driving can create an extremely dangerous situation for everyone on the road. Sleepiness is like alcohol in that it can impair judgment, decrease awareness, increase the risk of accident and slow a driver’s reaction time.
Drowsy drivers are often those who take medications that make them sleepy, shift workers working the long shift or late night shifts, those who do not get enough sleep, commercial drivers who drive for long periods, and those with sleep disorders that have not been treated yet.
What does drowsiness do?
When a driver is drowsy, the judgment, vision and reaction time are impaired. They may have problems with short-term memory and information processing. Decreased motivation, vigilance and performance are also common, and many display aggressive behaviors or increased moodiness when they are tired. Combine all these factors and put the driver behind the wheel of a car and you have a recipe for disaster.
The signs of drowsy driving
Most people know when they are tired, but drivers often feel as if they can push through just a few more miles before they get to their destination. Unfortunately for everyone else on the road, this makes them a danger and a liability.
Drowsy drivers will blink or yawn frequently, have difficulty remembering the drive, miss their exits, hit the road’s rumble strips, and drift in and out of a lane. If you notice a driver displaying these behaviors, it is time to move away and call for help.
The dangers of drowsiness
One of the hardest parts of dealing with drowsy driving is that drivers do not fully understand how tired they are until it is too late. Drivers should always get enough sleep before a long drive and avoid any medications that have a sedative effect. Drowsy driving causes over 400,000 fatal accidents each year, and all drivers must be aware of the risks.
If you were on the unfortunate end of an accident with a drowsy driver and suffered injuries or lost a loved one, speak with an attorney today about your options.