Many of us are familiar with the fact that driving while drunk or speeding can lead to serious vehicle accidents. However, not many people think about the dangers of driving while they’re overly tired. The truth is that when New York drivers take the wheel and they are overly tired, they become three times more likely to be involved in a collision than the average driver.
Why is tired driving so risky?
It’s been estimated that tired driving accounts for 100,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. This translates to 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities every 365 days. When a driver is tired, it affects his or her ability to drive safely. Drowsy drivers will experience longer reaction times, poor judgment, and the inability to properly judge distance, and they even may fall asleep behind the wheel.
With over 20% of U.S. adult drivers admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel within the past year, drowsy driving is more dangerous than ever before. Some drowsy drivers experience what are called microsleep sessions. These are defined as short involuntary periods of inattention to the roadway and the task of driving. While they only last for about four to five seconds apiece, driving at an average speed of 55 miles per hour means that the driver would’ve traveled the length of a football field.
Interventions for tired driving
As more people and professionals realize the consequences of tired driving, there are many different types of interventions to help stop the issue. One of the biggest forms of intervention comes from car manufacturers. They’ve constructed crash-avoidance technology like Lane Departure Warning to help people realize when they’re driving unsafely. Universities are doing their parts by informing college students about the dangers of tired driving and why they should avoid it.
Sleepy driving is becoming a leading cause of vehicle crashes throughout the United States. The lack of sleep provides various impairments for the driver and makes him or her more likely to be involved in an accident. It’s important for every driver to be able to self-evaluate before getting behind the wheel.