Drowsy driving isn’t something people aim to do behind the wheel. Most people get into their vehicles feeling perhaps a little tired or like they didn’t get enough sleep. They don’t think that this could lead to an accident, but it can. Nodding off even for a few seconds is enough time to cause a serious collision.
A 2005 poll from the National Sleep Foundation reported that around 60 percent of adult drivers had admitted to getting behind the wheel when feeling drowsy. Over a third had actually drifted off to sleep. Maybe more unexpected is that around 4 percent of those people were either in accidents or nearly in accidents because of how tired they were.
Drowsy driving does take lives, and it impacts the lives of those who do it, too. Drivers can face jail sentences for causing accidents, and families of crash victims have been awarded millions of dollars in lawsuits.
Why do people fall asleep? It comes down to being too tired, but there are other reasons. Sometimes medications interact with the body and make you sleepy, while other times long, boring drives lead to a driver nodding off. Those in urban areas are more likely to fall asleep than those in rural or suburban areas, despite being in a busier area.
Being awake too long can make you feel like you’ve had too much to drink. You wouldn’t drink and drive, and you shouldn’t drive drowsy either. If your family has been affected by a drowsy driver, you have options. Our website has more information.