Drowsy driving continues to be a problem on roads throughout the United States. Anyone who is behind the wheel of a car does not know if the vehicle next to them is occupied by a sleep-deprived driver. Lack of sleep significantly increases the potential of accidents, resulting in countless dangerous and deadly collisions.
From the effects of sleep apnea to deprivation, countless drivers are putting people at risk due to drowsy driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that drowsy driving resulted in 91,000 accidents in 2017, leaving 50,000 people injured and 800 dead.
Even more alarming is the underestimation of the number due to challenges that exist in determining the actual cause of dangers and deadly collisions. Other studies reveal that around 6,000 deadly motor vehicle crashes occur every year, with 21 percent being fatal.
Microsleep and mental impairment
Microsleeps are caused by people dozing off for a few seconds. When someone experiences that form of “nodding off” while driving, cars and trucks can run off the road or crash into another vehicle. Far too often, the automobile is traveling at high speeds.
A driver does not have to fall asleep to cause an accident. Sleep deprivation also causes mental impairment that is akin to driving drunk. Operators are easily distracted with slower reaction times that are necessary to avoid dangers on the road ahead.
Studies reveal that going 24 hours without sleep equals a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 percent. The sheer level of exhaustion impacts decision-making that could lead to unnecessary risk-taking while operating a vehicle.
From the time of day to severe sleep disorders going undiagnosed, uninterrupted, and less than restorative sleep puts all drivers and passengers on the road at risk.