When a person is driving along with the windows down, they may not think much about their eyelids getting heavier with every passing mile. Drowsy driving might not seem as dangerous as other issues, but it can still lead to serious accidents.
Knowing more about why drowsy driving is a recipe for disaster can help everyone on the road.
Less attentive to the world around them
When someone is drowsy, their ability to pay attention starts to go away. Their mind struggles to focus on the road ahead, traffic signals and even pedestrians. In 2020 alone, there were 633 deaths from drowsy driving.
This means they might miss important cues that could prevent a crash. Additionally, they can miss the crucial seconds it takes to slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid an obstacle.
Struggles with microsleeping
Ever heard of microsleeps? These are involuntary bursts of sleep that last only seconds. They might seem harmless, but if someone is behind the wheel when they happen, they can be seriously dangerous and leave the driver at risk of crashing into another car.
Drowsiness affects a person’s decision-making skills. This driver might take unnecessary risks, underestimate the speed of oncoming vehicles or misjudge distances. For instance, someone might think they have enough time to make a left turn if they misjudge an approaching car’s speed, but end up causing a collision.
Drowsy driving might not be as commonly known as some other traffic dangers, but it is no less deadly. As a responsible road user, it is the driver’s duty to recognize the risks and make sure that they are always awake and alert behind the wheel.