Driving while you're overly fatigued is a recipe for disaster. Many people think of truckers first when considering drowsy driving; after all, they're on the road constantly for work, putting in long hours. However, the reality is that anyone who drives while tired is a potential risk, whether it's the office worker commuting to the suburbs, the college student driving home after class or the exhausted worker who dragged himself or herself out of bed to head in for the day.
Here are four statistics from the National Sleep Foundation that help to paint a clear picture of how common drowsy driving really is:
- 4 percent of those asked said that they fell asleep behind the wheel and caused a car accident. While 4 percent sounds small, you have to remember that the United States has over 325 million people.
- 13 percent of people admitted that nodding off while driving was a chronic condition, claiming it happened to them once a month at minimum. It is stunning to think how many people repeatedly put others at risk.
- 37 percent of respondents said they had nodded off while driving at least once in their lives. It may never have happened again, but one out of three drivers has done it.
- 60 percent of those who answered the poll claimed they had driven when they felt tired. Maybe they did not fall asleep, but it could still impact awareness and reaction times.
Overall, you need to know that you share the road with many high-risk drivers, and you need to know what to do when one of them causes a car accident.
Source: NSC, "The Most Dangerous Time to Drive," accessed June 01, 2018