Living in a fast-paced society can be stressful, especially when you are not sure how to fit all of your responsibilities into a 24-hour period. Like many people, you may even be chronically tired from giving up sleep in exchange for work, family or your favorite streaming service. There is one place you should never be when tired, though — behind the wheel of a car. Drowsy driving injures and kills far too many people every year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — NHTSA — reports that drowsy drivers cause approximately 100,000 police-reported accidents every year. It is likely that drowsy driving contributes to a significant number of collisions that victims never report to police, too. Sadly, since identifying drowsy drivers can be so difficult, the actual number of police-reported accidents could even be much higher.
What is drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving is pretty straightforward and is simply the act of driving while tired. Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about its impact. Data from the NHTSA shows that drowsy drivers caused at least 4,000 fatalities between 2013 and 2017.
Like a lot of drivers, you might struggle to identify when you are too tired to drive. If you start experiencing any of the following, it is time to pull over, rest and let someone else take over the wheel:
- Blurred vision
- Nodding off
- Losing control of your vehicle
You might notice that these indications of drowsy driving are not all that different from drunk driving. This is because the two actually mirror many of the same symptoms, including poor decision-making skills and slowed reaction times. Do not make the mistake of thinking that drowsy driving is any safer when you may exhibit the same behaviors.
Who is most likely to drive while tired?
According to a 2019 survey from The Zebra, nearly 34% of drivers over the age of 65 admit to falling asleep while driving at least once. That same survey also found that men of all age groups are more likely than women to report falling asleep behind the wheel. Attitudes toward drowsy driving vary by age, too, with those between the ages of 25 and 34 saying they think being tired is more dangerous than texting.
Recovering from a drowsy driving car accident is often a long, tiring journey. On top of focusing on your physical health, you may also be dealing with medical bills, lost wages and emotional trauma from your accident. This can be a lot to deal with on your own, which is why many victims in Colorado are eager to better understand their legal options for recovering compensation.