Drowsy Drivers Pose Major Risk
You know the no-no’s of driving. Don’t text or talk on the phone, and never drink and drive. But what if you’ve had a really long day and are really tired? According to the New York Times, a new study of driving behavior across the country found that more than 4 percent of drivers admit to have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Drowsy driving can have a serious impact. It is estimated that 730 deadly motor vehicles accidents involved a driver who was sleepy in 2009. An additional 30,000 nonfatal accidents involved a drowsy driver. Driving drowsy is particularly dangerous because accidents involving drowsy drivers are more likely to be deadly or cause injuries, because drivers who fall asleep at the wheel fail to hit their brakes or veer off the road before crashing.
Even simply being tired on the road can be a dangerous hazard. Fatigue can slow your reaction time when driving. Closing your eyes for a second or two can be just as dangerous as falling asleep. People who get less than six hours of daily sleep, who snored at night are more likely to report drowsiness while driving.
While coffee, blasting the radio, or rolling down the window are all strategies to stay awake, the effects vary largely by the individual and are largely ineffective. The best thing to do is pull over and rest. Taking a quick rest off-road, even it it’s just a 20 minute power nap can help get you safely to your destination.
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