Drivers should always strive to maintain peak physical and mental form before hitting the road. After all, legal guidelines classify a car as heavy machinery, even if most drivers do not think of getting behind the wheel as “operating heavy machinery”.
If a driver attempts to drive while too drowsy, however, it could have a catastrophic effect on their safety along with the safety of other drivers on the road.
Widespread acceptance of drowsy driving
Sleep Foundation takes a look at how drowsiness impacts crashes. Drowsiness serves as one of the worst and most common offenders when it comes to dangerous driving behaviors. Unfortunately, the public still widely accepts it, too. This means more people hit the road while still tired than any expert would consider safe.
When drivers hit the road while drowsy, they will often struggle from the same impairments that intoxicated drivers face. This can include things like slowed reflexes, lower attention spans and the inability to spot dangers in advance. When driving, just a split-second can make the difference between avoiding an accident. Drowsy drivers lose that edge and thus suffer from a higher rate of crashes than fully alert drivers.
Unconsciousness at the wheel
Of course, these drivers also experience a risk of falling asleep at the wheel. This renders a driver incapable of reacting to their surroundings in any way, which can easily lead to high injury or even fatal crashes. Common deadly accidents involve drowsy drivers driving off the side of the road or through the meridian into oncoming traffic.
Due to the frequency and intensity of these crashes, drowsy drivers pose a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road.