There is much talk about the dangers involved with using your cell phone while behind the wheel, but did you know that other circumstances are just as likely to cause car accidents? The Centers for Disease Control note that drowsy driving is a serious issue on U.S. roadways, with 1 out of 25 people falling asleep behind the wheel within the past month.
If you drive often, understanding the dangers of drowsy driving may help reduce the risk of an accident that may cause injury to yourself and others.
How drowsy driving causes accidents
Falling asleep behind the wheel is not the only factor that causes accidents when it comes to drowsy driving. Fatigue can cause several issues that may lead to a wreck, including:
- Lane drifting
- A slowed response time
- Inability to focus on the road and traffic
If you realize that you have no memory of the last few miles you drove or that the line between wakefulness and sleep is thin, pulling over to rest or changing drivers can help reduce the risk of accident when you are extremely fatigued.
The dangers of drowsy driving may impact you more severely if you drive for your job, endure a long daily commute or suffer from a sleep disorder. The risks may increase when you couple these factors with the use of certain medications, driving long hours without rest and driving at night. Making time for rest before getting behind the wheel may prevent drowsy driving.
Creating a consistent sleep schedule can help you stay alert when you get behind the wheel. If you have a sleep disorder, working with a physician to manage or resolve it may also lower the risk of a car accident caused by drowsy driving.