The term distracted driving covers a wide range of behaviors and actions. Some are more well-known than others, like texting while driving. More attention has fallen on drowsy driving lately, too.
But how does driving while drowsy put other drivers at risk? Is there anything you can do to limit the danger you might face?
Signs of drowsiness
It is undeniable that drowsy driving puts others at risk. Sleep Foundation discusses the impact of drowsy driving. It states that drowsy drivers often face similar issues to intoxicated drivers. The more fatigued a driver is, the more intense these symptoms can get.
Some drivers struggle with attention and focus. Their mind may wander. They could struggle to pay attention to road signs. Some even forget to observe the rules of the road due to sheer exhaustion. This can lead to running red lights or ignoring road signs, which is a major cause of crashes. Pedestrian or bicycle accidents also happen this way, as drivers may not remember to watch out for them or may not even see them.
The danger of microsleep
Drowsy drivers also experience microsleep. With this, you lose consciousness for several seconds at a time. Within that short span, you can lose control of your vehicle. Many drivers have gone over the meridian during microsleep before, leading to fatal head-on crashes.
It is important to note that wakefulness tricks do not actually help combat drowsy driving. The only thing that can wake a driver up is getting the proper amount of sleep. This is part of why drowsy driving comes with such a high rate of fatalities.