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Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Posted On: 02-10-2017
Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Driving while drowsy impairs your judgement, decreases your awareness, and slows down your reaction time. In fact, it can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. It increases your risks of getting into an accident.

There are many different factors that can contribute to driving while fatigued (which also means driving while sleepy, tired, exhausted, etc.), such as challenging work schedules, interrupted sleep, sleep debt, sleep disorders, and the consumption of different types of medications.

Drowsy driving is a big problem in the United States. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate that driving while drowsy is responsible for 72,000 crashes in 2013. Even driving while tired—without actually falling asleep—can be incredibly dangerous, because it can affect your ability to make good decisions and reduce the attention that you can give to the road.

It’s important for all drivers to be aware of the signs of drowsy driving, including:

•    Missing an exit or turn
•    Drifting out of your lane or hitting a rumble strip
•    Frequent yawning or blinking
•    Trouble remembering part of your drive

If you experience any of these signs, it is recommended that you change drivers or pull over to rest (a 15 to 20-minute nap could help). Before getting into the car, you can prevent drowsy driving by getting plenty of sleep, avoiding medications that make you sleepy, and talking to your doctor about a plan for possible sleep disorders.

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