Drowsiness, while it may seem harmless generally, is actually quite hazardous when you're behind the wheel. It is difficult for authorities to know exactly how many motor vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy driving because it isn't always reported as the cause. A driver or responding police officer may have no way of knowing that drowsiness delayed the driver's ability to brake in time to avoid a collision, for example.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2009 Massachusetts Special Commission on Drowsy Driving estimated that drowsy driving may cause as many as 1.2 million crashes every year, and 8,000 fatalities.
Fatigued driving is dangerous. One of the scariest possibilities is that you fall asleep at the wheel because of your drowsiness. It's nearly impossible to know the moment you are going to nod off and to prevent it. But even without falling asleep, drowsiness severely impacts your ability to drive because it:
- Decreases attentiveness
- Reduces reaction time
- Impedes decision-making abilities
These things increase your risk of getting in an accident. Rolling down a window for a breeze or turning up the radio will not help. When you are drowsy, rest is the only remedy. If you believe you are too drowsy to drive, you should switch drivers (if someone's with you) or pull over to a safe spot to determine if you can get a ride or safely rest where you are stopped.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by someone else's negligence, please call Kirtland & Packard for a free case evaluation at 310-536-1000. We are proud to fight for accident victims from Redondo Beach, South Bay, Torrance, and surrounding areas of Los Angeles County.