Whether you spent an evening visiting friends or had to work late to complete an important project, you may find yourself on the road late at night. Many may not think that driving at this late hour is dangerous, especially if you stay on well-lit roadways. However, driving while drowsy can put you and others on the road at serious risk. What should you know about the dangers of driving while drowsy?
How common are drowsy driving accidents?
Despite the fact that around 97 percent of people disapprove of drowsy driving, it is a surprisingly common concern on the road. Reports indicate that around 50,000 injuries occurred in 2017 as a result of drowsy drivers. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that there were nearly 700 fatalities in crashes involving drowsy drivers in 2019.
What impact can drowsy driving have?
Fatigue is a common challenge faced by many drivers, and it can put those drivers at serious risk. Not only are you three times as likely to be involved in a crash when fatigued, but drowsiness can also significantly diminish your reaction times and your attention on the road. You may also make poor decisions and experience tunnel vision or lapses in your memory. In fact, drivers who have gone more than 20 hours without sleep face similar levels of impairment to those driving above the legal limit for alcohol.
What can you do about drowsy drivers?
Even if you take steps to ensure that you are well-rested when you get behind the wheel, not every driver on Texas roadways will do the same. This makes it especially important to drive defensively, especially at night when drowsiness may be more common. It is also important to know your legal rights if you are involved in an accident as a result of another driver’s choice to operate a vehicle while fatigued.