Asleep At The Wheel: Fatigued Driving Facts & Tips

by Alex Hess

in Safety

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It has long been drilled into our minds that the dangers of driving while fatigued are potentially severe. It isn’t always perfectly obvious just how dangerous the activity can be, though. It can be tempting to load up on coffee to get through the next few hours, but it could be a life-altering move. We’ve picked out a few statistics from the CDC website that are guaranteed to shock and educate. Let’s get started.

An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 years or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days

Wait, what?! Read that again. That’s a shockingly common number of people that have fallen asleep while driving. They could be on the road next to you at any point. You could be one of those people at any point! It’s scary just how many drivers are reporting to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Drowsiness slows reaction time if you have to brake or steer suddenly.

We’ve all driven while feeling drowsy at some point. You know what this feels like. If we’re lucky, we get to our destination without needing to make a quick reaction. If we’re not, that split-second move might be the difference between life and death. If you want to be in the best position to deal with it, you need to be fully alert.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013

There’s not much you can do with this statistic apart from despair at the numbers. 800 people needlessly died in 2013 as a result of simple tiredness. If those drivers had spent an extra hour in bed or taken a short break, those deaths might have been prevented.

Individuals who snored or usually slept 6 or fewer hours per day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving

Does this surprise anyone, really?! The facts are plain to see. You need to get enough rest in order to prevent fatigued driving incidents. The same goes for others on the road, and if you find yourself in a crash as a result of this, you must take it seriously. Seek a car accident lawyer and get compensation for their damages. Even if you don’t collide, inform the police if you spot this behavior.

OK, so what can you do if you find yourself in a fatigued state while driving? Here are some tips to follow in the future.

  • Get enough sleep (7-8 hours is preferable)
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Be aware of the signs of drowsiness (yawning, drifting, lack of concentration)
  • Rest at the nearest location

Fatigued driving continues to cause life-ending incidents, and it needs to be stopped. It’s important to equip yourself with the mentality that driving in this state is a major source of danger. In one quick swoop, it could ruin your life and the lives of others. The next time you feel a little woozy, hold off on the driving until you’re ready to get behind the wheel.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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