Drivers in Virginia are well aware of the fact that there are plenty of dangers lurking on the roads. The behaviors of other drivers often ranks near the top of these risks. One particularly harmful problem involves drowsy driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) carefully dissects the true dangers of drowsy driving. Though it isn’t often given as much attention as driving under the influence or distracted driving, it actually mimics the risks inherent in those issues very closely. For example, a drowsy driver may:
- Have trouble concentrating, focusing, and remembering things
- Have slow reaction times
- Be easily confused by their surroundings
- Be unable to predict potentially dangerous situations and avoid them as they appear
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also discusses drowsy driving in terms of why it is becoming a more prevalent problem in our society lately. There are several factors that can increase a driver’s chance of nodding off at the wheel. This includes working unusual shifts such as overnight or graveyard, being on medication that causes drowsiness, not getting enough sleep, or having untreated sleep disorders.
There is also societal pressure that may play a role in the lack of sleep drivers are getting. Many drivers are also workers who have long shifts, or who work in industries that may reward potentially dangerous driving behaviors. The trucking industry is particularly notorious for this, as they often reward drivers based on how much distance they can cover in a day.
Through this alone, it can be seen that drowsy driving is more widespread than some people may believe. Beyond that, it also has a very real impact on the safety of public roads and other drivers who use them, making it a problem that everyone should work toward solving.