The CDC says that 25% of all fatal car accidents involve a drowsy driver. In fact, you are twice as likely to get into a car accident if you are drowsy than you are when completely sober.
Unfortunately, not all drivers know this, and that’s why there are so many serious motor vehicle accidents resulting from drowsy driving. Here’s what causes drowsy driving and why it is so dangerous.
The main cause of drowsy driving
There are many factors that contribute to drowsy driving, but nothing beats sleep deprivation. Failing to get enough sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness and increase the risk of dangerous driving. How does drowsy driving lead to motor vehicle accidents?
It reduces decision-making abilities
Firstly, when you drive while drowsy, it’s easy for you to veer off the road and hit someone or collide with another vehicle. The accident can be worse if you’re driving at a high speed. According to the National Safety Council, driving after extended periods without sleeping is the same as driving with an 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration. In a state of extreme fatigue, it’s very easy to become distracted. You’d also find it difficult to make sound decisions while driving, leading to the likelihood of taking unsafe risks.
The effects might be worse
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that drowsy driving led to 91,000 crashes and nearly 800 deaths in 2019. However, it’s impossible to determine all motor vehicle accidents and deaths caused by drowsy driving, so there’s a high chance this data miscalculates the real impact of this issue. There are potentially way more accidents and fatalities caused by drowsy driving than we know.
Getting into an accident caused by a drowsy driver can be devastating to your health and finances. However, knowing your legal options when it occurs may save you a lot of stress, money and pain.