We are familiar with the signs of drowsiness should we not get a good night’s sleep or have been awake too long. Most of us understand that there are some tasks we should not do if we are too fatigued to do them safely. While you may be careful not to do anything you are too tired to do safely, others in Pennsylvania will take the risk of driving even though they are too fatigued to safely do so. This drowsiness can be a contributing factor to a subsequent motor vehicle accident.
Drowsy driving statistics
The National Safety Council reports that approximately 100,000 motor vehicle accidents are the result of drowsy driving. 71,000 people suffered injuries in these crashes and a further 1,500 lost their lives. AAA reports that drowsy driving crashes comprise approximately 9.5% of all motor vehicle accidents.
How dangerous is drowsy driving?
Some may think that drowsy driving is not that dangerous, but nothing could be further from the truth. Drowsy driving can be as risky as drunk driving. In fact, if a person is awake for 18 hours in a row, they will be as impaired as if they had consumed enough alcohol to reach a blood-alcohol content of 0.05%. If a person is awake for 24 hours in a row, they will be as impaired as if they had consumed enough alcohol to reach a BAC of 0.10%.
Drowsy driving can make it difficult to focus on the task of driving. Drowsy driving can slow a person’s reaction times and reduce their ability to exercise good judgement. A person could even fall asleep entirely while behind the wheel.
It is easy to see how falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to a car accident, but even simply being drowsy can impair a person’s driving abilities. Drowsiness is a major contributor to serious or even fatal car crashes in the United States. Ultimately, we should avoid driving if are not well rested. This is key to keeping our roads in Pennsylvania safe for all motorists.