Pennsylvania drivers who crawl behind the wheel when they are fatigued are three times more likely to be involved in a car accident. This statistic may be shocking for many because they don’t really think about driving tired. The reality is, driving drowsy can actually be just as damaging as driving intoxicated.
The impacts of driving while fatigued
When a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle when he or she is overly fatigued, it can drastically impact the ability to drive safely. A driver’s awareness of nearby hazards, ability to sustain attention on the task of driving, and reaction times are all reduced when he or she is tired. In fact, experts have equated that a drowsy driver lacking 20 hours of sleep has the same level of impairment as a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08%. After reading this conclusion, it becomes no surprise why so many car accidents happen every year as a result of drowsy drivers.
The statistics don’t lie
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are about 100,000 vehicle crashes every year due to drowsy driving. With these accidents causing 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities, drowsy driving is becoming more dangerous than ever before. Experts note that about 50% of all drowsy driving crashes involve a driver who is under the age of 25.
While teenagers and college students are commonly warned about the dangers of driving drunk, drowsy driving is typically not discussed. It’s important for parents to take the time to explain the dangers of drowsy driving with their children. Universities should also consider taking the time to explain the hazards of driving drowsy to college students because they’re a subset of the population that is notoriously known to lack sleep.
Drowsy driving is starting to become a new leading cause of car crashes throughout the United States. It’s important that parents, officials, and other community members take the time to provide knowledge about the hazards of driving drowsy. This way, drivers are more knowledgeable about making decisions of whether or not they’re capable of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.