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How Dangerous is Drowsy Driving?

young man driving a large truck, covering his mouth with his hand while yawning

Driver fatigue has long been a serious issue on the roads. From lengthy road trips and night shifts to delivery schedules from sun up to sun down, there are many reasons why someone would get behind the wheel when drowsy. But just how dangerous is it? Read on to learn some of the concerning statistics.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 100,000 drowsy driving-related crashes are reported to the police each year; however, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that the actual number of incidents each year may be three times as much. These two agencies also suggest that drowsy driving crashes result in anywhere from 800 to 6,400 fatalities each year.

What Are the Common Causes of Drowsy Driving?

There are endless contributing factors to driver fatigue and drowsy driving. While, obviously, not getting enough sleep is most prevalent, there are many other circumstances that lend themselves to this, including:

  • Untreated sleep disorders
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Working irregular hours
  • Jet lag

This is why having a consistent sleep schedule and getting good quality sleep is so important—it can impact much more than just your tiredness levels.

How Does Fatigue Affect Driving Ability?

Understanding how fatigue affects your overall cognition and driving ability is crucial for knowing the importance of being well-rested. Just to name a few, drowsiness can impair reaction times, attentiveness to the road, decision-making ability, concentration, and more.

Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that being awake for extended periods can have similar effects on the brain and body as alcohol. When awake for 18 consecutive hours, you can feel similar driving impacts as if you had a BAC of 0.05. While everyone can agree that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous, it’s equally as important to know your limits when it comes to getting behind the wheel when tired.

Northern California Car Accident Attorneys

Being in a car accident is never ideal, but when the at-fault individual was negligent and fell asleep at the wheel or had another impairment, you deserve to hold them accountable. Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley can help ensure that you have the team you need to seek justice. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your options by calling (530) 413-0245.