With the amount of time and effort put into informing the public of the dangers of drunk or drugged driving, it's strange to realize that another kind of impaired driving receives only a fraction of that same attention. In the United States, many individuals suffer serious or even fatal car accidents each year because of drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving may occur a number of ways, whether from exhaustion, sleep deprivation, sleep disorders or even just boredom during a long drive. Unfortunately, despite its very natural causes, drowsy driving is every bit as dangerous and life-threatening as drunk driving. When a person drives while sleepy, they suffer severe limitations to their ability to remain safe themselves and keep others safe on the road.
Drowsy driving may lead to a number of symptoms, including
- Reduced awareness of surroundings
- Slower reaction times
- Compromised decision-making skills
- General inability to recognize danger or significant changes in driving conditions
Drowsy driving may not affect all people in exactly the same way, but it does affect nearly everyone at some point or another. Be sure that you take proper precautions before getting behind the wheel while drowsy. If you believe that you may put yourself or others at risk by getting behind the wheel while sleepy, consider other alternatives like taking a cab or waking yourself up with a fresh cup of coffee before you drive.
Of course, accidents happen even when you are observing safe driving practices. In these instances, an experienced attorney can fight for your rights and protect your best interests after a car accident.
Source: CDC.gov, "Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel," accessed Dec. 01, 2017