Driving comes with various safety risks. Fortunately, drivers could reduce these hazards by following traffic regulations and taking preventative measures to address factors that could lead to a collision. However, some might remain prone to preventable crashes for many reasons, including drowsy driving.
Being groggy, drowsy or tired when driving is a serious road safety problem. Still, it is common, especially among drivers with lifestyles that do not allow them to have enough sleep. Some drivers might not consider it a significant issue, but it could be fatal, with 684 drowsy driving fatalities in 2021 alone.
However, authorities believe that this number of fatalities is inaccurate. They encounter challenges linking accidents to drowsy driving based on evidence from the incident, which might be unidentifiable. In 2017, authorities estimated 91,000 road incidents involved drowsy driving, with around 50,000 injuries and 800 fatalities.
Among drowsy driving crashes, authorities found that the following factors are frequent with most of these incidents:
- Occurs from midnight to around six in the morning or late afternoon
- Involves a driver who is alone in the vehicle driving at high speed with no signs of engaging the brakes
- Usually happens on highways and rural roads
Avoiding these factors might be impossible, but drivers could change their driving habits to reduce risks.
Staying alert and safe
These accidents could be prevented by refusing to drive when tired or sleepy. It might happen for many reasons, such as pulling an all-nighter at work or taking medication that could have side effects. Regardless, avoid driving during these times. Also, a driver could prepare by getting enough sleep before a road trip. Doing so could improve their alertness and vigilance behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, you cannot remove safety hazards on the road entirely. Still, some risks are preventable. A driver might save a life by refusing to drive because of fatigue or drowsiness.