Falling asleep or feeling extremely tired while driving often results in severe consequences. According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study, the effects of drowsiness are akin to alcohol consumption. People who have too much to drink before getting behind the wheel have slower reaction times and lower responsiveness to the traffic around them. Sleepiness while driving creates similar if not identical reaction times, as well as a slower data processing speed – meaning the brain works at a reduced rate.
Statistics of Drowsy Driving Accidents
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, more than 83,000 accidents occur because of drowsy driving, with 37,000 of them resulting in an injury. The worst part is these accidents could have been prevented had the sleepy driver been aware of the signs of being too tired to drive.
Know the Signs of Tiredness
The main signs of tiredness include:
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Blinking very frequently in order to stay awake and alert.
- Running into the rumble strip off to the side of the road or highway
- Yawning every few minutes
- Missing an exit entirely
- Not remembering the last few miles of road that you’ve driven.
Although anyone can be too tired to drive, people who make their living behind the wheel of a vehicle are statistically the most likely to fall asleep on the road. Bus drivers, long haul truck drivers, and tow truck drivers need to be aware of the symptoms. In addition, those who take medications that make them sleepy and night-shift workers also need to beware.
The Best Course of Action
If you are driving and feel as though you are too tired to drive, the best course of action is to stop immediately. Pull into a parking lot. Not getting behind the wheel at all is the best option. Before you get into your vehicle, gauge your level of alertness. If it’s low and you feel very tired, find a ride home.
Drowsy Driving Accidents Result In Injuries and Death
The statistics are sobering. People who drive while drowsy cause accidents. If you or a loved one have been in an accident caused by someone who fell asleep behind the wheel, call me and I’ll Make Them Pay!®