As a driver, you come across many types of unsafe driving behaviors on the road. One of the fastest rising risks is drowsy driving. This happens when a driver gets behind the wheel without getting enough sleep.
But just how deadly is drowsy driving? Statistics show that it poses a huge threat, and that threat only grows with time.
Fatalities contributed to drowsiness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discuss the impact of drowsy driving on driver safety. First, up to 6,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. a year could tie to drowsy driving behavior. 37,000 injuries from crashes also tie to drowsy driving. The CDC believes this is a low estimate, though. It is hard to pinpoint the real numbers because law enforcement cannot test for drowsiness as they test for the presence of substances.
Prevalence of drowsy drivers
Its prevalence is one of the reasons why drowsy driving continues to cause deadly issues. In fact, 1 in every 25 surveyed adults stated that they fell asleep behind the wheel within 30 days of taking the survey. This does not even include microsleep, in which a driver goes unconscious for several seconds at a time. Even this is enough to result in a deadly crash. After all, it only takes 3 seconds to travel the length of a football field when on the highway.
Drowsiness affects drivers in a way similar to alcohol. Drivers lose their ability to predict and react to danger. They struggle to focus and concentrate. They cannot maintain speed or even drive straight sometimes. These factors combine to create a deadly cocktail that affects everyone on the road.