According to many sleep experts, drowsy driving happens quite frequently. Some reports have noted that about a quarter of all drivers report falling asleep at the wheel, while about half of them report feeling fatigued while continuing to drive.
Researchers have also dug into some of the statistics to see how many car accidents fatigue causes. They believe that there could be as many as 6,000 fatal accidents annually based on fatigued driving, or 21% of the yearly total. For anyone thinking that this was a fringe issue, if these reports are correct, it clearly is not.
Why is it so dangerous?
The problem with drowsy driving is that it’s very similar to drunk driving. It can cause drivers to make a lot of the same mistakes. In fact, someone who nods off behind the wheel because they are too tired is virtually no different than someone who passes out because they are too intoxicated.
But even those who do not entirely lose consciousness while driving are still going to make more mistakes than sober and alert drivers. They are going to have slower reaction times. They’re not going to be thinking as clearly and may make cognitive mistakes.
In fact, one of the most dangerous things is when these two issues are combined. If the driver is feeling fatigued and then has even a small amount of alcohol, it can exaggerate the effects.
Considering how common fatigued driving is, there’s always a chance that even safe drivers could be injured in accidents caused by these other individuals. Those who suffer serious injuries need to know how to seek financial compensation.