Drivers should always strive to stay in a strong physical and mental state when hitting the road. After all, even the slightest distraction could create the opportunity for a crash.
This is especially true of drowsiness and drowsy driving, which remains one of the biggest issues threatening driver safety in the current day.
Why do so many people drive drowsy?
The Sleep Foundation examines factors that contribute to unsafe driving behavior. Drowsy driving - i.e. driving without getting enough sleep beforehand - ranks as one of the least safe behaviors. Shockingly, it also ranks among the most common of the dangerous driving behaviors that drivers regularly engage in.
Experts speculate on many different reasons as to why drowsiness remains such a prominent issue. First, campaigns have not yet targeted it with the same vigor they have attacked texting while driving, intoxicated driving and other more obviously problematic behaviors.
Many average workers and students alike also view drowsy driving as an inevitable result of having to wake up and get to school or work so early, leaving very little time to get every hour of necessary sleep the night before.
The effects of drowsy driving
However, drowsiness affects the body and mind in a way similar to intoxicated driving. Victims often struggle with cognition, cannot spot dangers, suffer from slowed reaction rates and may even fall asleep at the wheel. This easily leads to harmful and dangerous driving, such as lane weaving, drifting off the road or crashing through the meridian into oncoming traffic.
The combination of these dangers along with the prevalence of drowsy driving makes it a force to contend with, which takes the lives of countless people every year.