Car accidents can happen to anyone, even professionals who spend their lives driving out on the open road. One of the biggest risk factors of driving today aside from texting and smartphone usage is drowsy driving. If you live in South Carolina, understanding the significance of drowsy driving and why it should be avoided at all times is a must anytime you are heading out on the road.
How dangerous and common is drowsy driving?
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s own reporting from 2005, up to 60% of drivers admitted to driving at least once while drowsy in the previous year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving contributed to more than 90,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2017 and more than 800 fatalities in total.
What contributes to drowsy driving?
It is not hard to drive while drowsy, especially if you are lacking in sleep or if you have been on the road for an extended period of time. Some of the biggest contributing factors of drowsy driving include:
• Lack of sleep and/or irregular sleep schedule
• Undiagnosed/improperly treated sleep disorders
• Alcohol and/or other substances that depress the Central Nervous System
• Odd schedule and/or swing shifts, especially for truck drivers and commuters
Types of injuries and extensive damage caused by drowsy driving
Motor vehicle accidents that involve drowsy driving do not just harm those behind the wheel. Collisions, crossing over lanes, and even complete flips are not unheard of for those who are drowsy behind the wheel. Paralysis, broken bones, and even fatalities occur when an individual is driving while drowsy.
Understanding drowsy driving and how to prevent falling asleep or nodding off behind the wheel is one of the most important aspects of driving on the open road.