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How does drowsiness cause crashes?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2022 | Car Accidents

Many people already have an awareness of some of the most dangerous driving behaviors on the road. However, the dangers of drowsy driving often escape the public’s notice at large.

What about drowsy driving makes it such a high-risk activity? And how does it contribute to a person’s chances of getting into a crash?

Falling asleep at the wheel

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration takes a look at how drowsiness can cause crashes. Of course, the biggest thing people often consider is the fact that drowsiness can lead to a person falling asleep behind the wheel.

This extreme and traumatic event results in a person losing their ability to react to any external stimuli around them for a period of undetermined time. Many of the worst crashes happen when a driver falls asleep at the wheel and careens off the side of the road or over a barrier into oncoming traffic.

DUI vs drowsiness

However, this is not the only form of risk. Many drivers do not fall asleep but still experience diminished reflexes. In fact, drowsiness impacts a driver’s senses and mental faculties in a way similar to intoxicated driving. They struggle to identify dangers, react more slowly to problems as they arise and have trouble with their speed. This often leads to rear-end crashes especially.

The prevalence of drowsy driving often makes people feel falsely reassured that they will not end up hurt or hurting others if they drive while sleep-deprived. Unfortunately, this is not the truth, and just one instance of drowsy driving could potentially ruin the lives of anyone on the road.


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