Drowsy driving is a big problem on roads in Florida and throughout the country. It can lead to car accidents and usually stems from people being out very late or working long hours and getting too little sleep.
What happens when people drive while drowsy?
With so many thousands of people traveling across the roads every single day, it’s not surprising that some drivers are very sleepy behind the wheel. Sadly, drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. If a person falls asleep behind the wheel, a serious crash can occur. Often, there’s no way to pinpoint a specific number of car accidents that stem from this problem. However, after a crash happens, investigators can determine whether a driver falling asleep at the wheel may be the culprit.
Unfortunately, car accidents caused by drowsy driving are nothing new. They can lead to devastating injuries and even fatalities to the driver, their passengers, other drivers or passengers and pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s estimated that around 91,000 car accidents that occurred in 2017 were due to drowsy driving.
Avoiding driving while drowsy
There are ways to stay safe and avoid driving while drowsy. They include the following:
- Get enough sleep daily
- Avoid drinking alcohol before driving
- Check prescription drug labels to see if drowsiness may be a side effect
- Take public transportation or walk, if possible, if you take medications that may cause drowsiness
- Avoid driving during peak sleepiness times between midnight to 6 AM and in the late afternoon
Why attitudes about drowsy driving need to change
Drowsing driving can lead to serious car accidents and the safety of the public. Regardless of the exact cause of the fatigue, whether it’s from working extra long hours, losing sleep while taking care of a new baby or staying up too late, it can have the same negative result. When people are overly tired and their circadian rhythms disrupted, they can fall asleep behind the wheel and crash. The attitudes surrounding drowsy driving need to change to prevent more serious injuries and deaths from such accidents. The truth is that drowsy driving is really no different from impaired driving.