While it may not be as well known or as well marketed as driving under the influence, drowsy driving is a very real and very prominent issue facing society today. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 in 25 adults have admitted to falling asleep while driving a vehicle. There’s a lot of pressure to keep your chin up and press on at all costs, with little time for much-needed rest. So many people are physically exhausted or sleepy after a long day, and yet they get behind the wheel of a vehicle to drive on the roads. This automatically puts their life at risk, not to mention the lives of other drivers on the road with them.
So, what happens when a drowsy individual sits in the driver’s seat? What dangers do they pose to themselves and others? Read on for a quick summary.
• Falling Asleep. Of course, the first and most obvious danger of driving while drowsy is the possibility of falling asleep. Even if the driver were to nod off for only a few seconds, that’s all the time it would take for them to drive off the road or swerve into the other lane and hit an oncoming car. In either instance, there’s a high probability of injury or fatality.
• Distracted Driving. Drowsiness tends to affect a person’s ability to focus for extended periods of time. Driving requires constant focus and intense concentration to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them. People who get behind the wheel and drive while fatigued are unlikely to be able to properly focus on the task at hand.
• Speed & Distance. It can be difficult to accurately judge and correct one’s speed when they’re just trying to stay awake. Speed limits are posted on all roads and highways, and ignoring them can be dangerous. Not only is speed an issue, but distance can pose a problem as well. Judging the distance from one’s vehicle to a car stopped at a red light, for instance, can be tricky when sleep-deprived.
• Reaction Time. Sometimes driving calls for the use of quick reflexes. You may need to swerve to avoid an accident, or you may need to brake for a person who ran out into the street. A drowsy driver’s reaction time is severely diminished.
Drowsy driving can happen to anyone. If you were the victim of a driving accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact us here at Wayne Hardee Law, and our team of skilled attorneys will help you get started today. Meanwhile, stay safe out on the roads!