More drivers in West Virginia are reporting falling asleep behind the wheel than ever before. A recent survey of U.S. adult drivers revealed that 20% of all drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of their vehicles within the past year. The idea of being on the roadway next to a driver who is asleep can be a scary thought for anybody.
The realities of drowsy driving
It’s been reported that over 100,000 motor vehicle accidents happen every year due to drowsy drivers. This equates to around 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. Considering these statistics, it should come as no surprise to anyone that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, researchers have actually compared the impairments of drowsiness and intoxication. What they found is that a driver who has been awake for 20 hours has a similar impairment to that of a driver with a blood alcohol level of .08%.
The effects of driving drowsy
If a driver chooses to get behind the wheel when they’re extremely fatigued, their driving abilities are dimished. Drowsiness affects drivers in many of the same ways that being intoxicated does. Drivers will exhibit slower reaction times and worse judgment. They’ll pay less attention to the roadway and even tailgate more often. All of these risky behaviors can be quite dangerous. A drowsy driver is three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Many people have admitted to getting behind the wheel of their vehicle when they were fatigued. Perhaps they didn’t believe that tiredness severely impaired their ability to drive. However, after learning the facts of how fatigue affects the body’s reactions, it should become clear that fatigued driving is simply too dangerous. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle when they’re drowsy is putting themselves and everybody else on the road at extreme risk.