Most drivers know that distractions on the road can lead to dangerous or even deadly crashes. But did you know that drowsiness actually proves one of the most dangerous risk factors of all in terms of distracted driving?
Because of this, sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on crashes. The more a driver suffers from sleep deprivation, the worse these crashes may be.
Effects of drowsy driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses how sleep deprivation factors into car crashes. As mentioned, drowsiness serves as one of the biggest distracted driving risks a driver can face. This is due to the fact that drowsiness impacts the mind and body in a way similar to intoxication. In fact, some of the shared behaviors and issues that both types of drivers face include:
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Slowed reflexes
- Delayed reactions
- Inability to concentrate
Falling asleep while driving
Of course, drowsy drivers also suffer from the possibility of falling asleep behind the wheel. This is one of the most dangerous things that can happen because it completely eliminates a driver’s ability to react to their surroundings at all.
Drowsy driving crashes often result in fatal injuries for that reason. For example, many of these drivers will fall asleep and cross the divide on a highway, barreling full-speed ahead into oncoming traffic. Others will drift off the side of the road, falling into ditches or careening over steep, sheer drop-offs.
These are just a few of the reasons why it is important to get enough sleep before hitting the road. Driving drowsy puts the lives of everyone on the road at risk.