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How does drowsiness impact accident rates?

As a driver, you want to know what all the biggest roadway dangers are. The top risks may evolve over time, but often stay the same. For example, distracted driving habits always hold the first position.

Drowsiness is one of these dangerous distracted driving habits. Unfortunately, it is also one that is currently on the rise. Drowsiness puts every driver at risk, and this pattern does not seem to be letting up.

Drowsy driving goes undetected

The Sleep Foundation takes a look at how drowsiness affects crashes on the road. What about drowsiness puts everyone at risk? First and foremost, drowsy drivers often slide under the radar. Despite their dangerous behaviors and actions, there is no way for officers to truly determine if they are too drowsy to drive. At most, drowsy drivers tend to get ticketed for reckless driving if pulled over. Unfortunately, this does not stop them from getting back on the road.

Next, there are a large number of drowsy drivers. More than a quarter of all drivers reported having trouble keeping their eyes open at least once over the time frame of a month. 41 percent admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at some point. 10 percent did so in the last year. This makes for a higher chance of running into a drowsy driver than an intoxicated driver, for example.

Falling asleep at the wheel

Drowsiness also results in microsleep, or even the driver falling asleep entirely at the wheel. Many extremely dangerous crashes happen because of this, such as a driver running off the road or across a highway meridian. These crashes often have higher injury and death rates.

If you suffered from such injury or lost a loved one in a crash with a drowsy driver, you want to contact an experienced legal expert. They can help you through the aftermath.

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