Did you get a bad night’s sleep? Chances are, you are not alone. Excessive drowsiness can make everyday tasks more difficult, including driving. It is likely that, on any given day, you might share the road with a drowsy driver.
The statistics on drowsy driving in the United States
The statistics on drowsy driving in the United States are startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 25 U.S. motorists above age 18 stated they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least one time in the past 30 days.
In 2017 alone, drowsy driving led to 91,000 motor vehicle accidents. These accidents injured 50,000 individuals and caused almost 800 fatalities. Sadly, it is likely that these numbers are underreported, and significantly more drowsy driving crashes occur every year.
Who is susceptible to drowsy driving?
Some people are more susceptible to drowsy driving than others. Motorists who did not get a full night’s sleep are likely to be drowsy.
Truckers and others who spend long hours on the road are also likely to be drowsy. Those who work third shift or long shifts are more likely to be drowsy.
Motorists with untreated sleep disorders or who took medications that made them drowsy prior to driving may be too drowsy to drive.
There are some signs that indicate drowsiness
There are some signs you can look out for if you think you are getting too drowsy to drive. They include:
- Excessive yawning and blinking
- Lapses in your memory
- Swerving between lanes
- Missing a turn or exit, and
- Driving over the rumble strip
It is up to all motorists to drive reasonably under the circumstances. This includes avoiding drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can have catastrophic consequences. If you were injured in a drowsy driving crash, you may have legal options that you will want to learn more about moving forward.