Drowsy driving is a serious concern that affects the safety of everyone on the road. It happens when a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle while feeling fatigued or sleepy.
Several risk factors can influence drowsy driving, increasing the chances of accidents and serious injuries.
Around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep and wakefulness disorders. One of the primary risk factors for drowsy driving is not getting enough sleep. When individuals do not get the recommended hours of sleep per night, they may experience drowsiness, reduced reaction times and worsened decision-making abilities.
Long periods of driving on straight highways with few changes in scenery can make someone drowsy. Staring forward at a dull road for a large amount of time can lead to decreased alertness and attention, increasing the risk of accidents.
Driving at night disrupts the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it more difficult to stay awake and alert. Most people’s bodies naturally want to sleep during the nighttime hours, which can lead to drowsiness when driving at night.
Untreated sleep disorders
Sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia can significantly impact a person’s ability to stay awake and alert while driving. People who use their vehicles even when they are suffering from these untreated medical problems can put others at risk.
Odd work hours
People who work night shifts, rotating shifts or irregular hours are more likely to drive while sleepy due to disruptions in their sleep patterns. The difference between their work schedule and natural bedtime can lead to increased drowsiness while driving.
Drowsy driving is a dangerous behavior that can result in accidents and loss of life. Recognizing and understanding these risk factors is important so that people on the road can stay safe.