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Is drowsy driving dangerous?

California drivers like you want to stay safe on the road. To that end, you often avoid obviously dangerous behaviors. This includes driving while under the influence or paying attention to electronics on the road.

But what about drowsy driving? This is a surprisingly common issue that people have, and you may not even know that it is a distracted driving behavior.

How does drowsy driving affect you?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration takes a look at drowsy driving statistics. It reveals a lot about the risks therein. Like other distracted driving behaviors, drowsy driving carries a lot of inherent dangers. It acts as an impairment to your abilities, and some of the effects you may suffer from include:

  • A reduced reaction time
  • The inability to predict dangerous situations
  • Situational blindness or a lack of awareness of your surroundings
  • Loss of fine motor control

As you can see, a lot of these overlap with the effects you may experience if driving under the influence. But unfortunately, drowsy driving is not as heavily frowned upon as DUI cases. Because of this, many drivers just like you feel safe to drive even if you should get more sleep.

Drowsy driving statistics

Statistics show that 795 people died in crashes related to drowsy driving in 2017. Some experts suggest that the number may be even higher, because it is hard to pinpoint whether a driver was drowsy or not at the time of a fatal crash.

If you feel tired, you should rest before getting behind the wheel. Likewise, you should always give cars a wide berth if they exhibit strange driving patterns. This includes swerving, sudden speed changes and so on. Doing so may help you avoid a run-in with a drowsy driver.

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