Next time you are sitting in traffic on the way to work, take a look at the drivers around you. Do they all seem bright and alert, or are some looking sleepy or exhausted?
It is highly likely that whatever time of day you drive, you will share the road with a few drowsy drivers, and that could put you in grave danger. Early morning and during the night are particular worries.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that tiredness was a contributing factor to the deaths of 800 people and injuries to another 50,000 in vehicle crashes in 2017.
Why do tired drivers cause crashes?
While drowsiness is natural, driving when you feel that way is not. It affects the body in a similar way to drunkenness.
A driver who is overly tired may struggle to stay awake. Even if they manage it, they will be slower than usual at making decisions or reacting to the actions of other drivers.
How can you spot someone who is dangerously tired?
You won’t be able to spot them all, but sometimes you might notice one or more of the following clues:
- They drift across the lane lines, then back again
- They are slow to move when the lights turn green, or the traffic clears
- Their head keeps falling forward, or you see them yawning
- They lose speed, then accelerate and lose it again due to trouble maintaining constant pressure on the gas pedal
If a drowsy driver injures you in a vehicle collision, make sure you get legal help to investigate your options for injury compensation.