The Effects of Drowsy Driving

As we said above, drowsy driving is like drunk driving. Some of the most common effects include:

  • Slowed reaction times
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Impaired judgment
  • Decrease in awareness
  • Impaired vision
  • Easily distracted

Who is likely to drive while drowsy?

There is a good chance you, or someone you know, have driven drowsy at least once. In fact, 43.2 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep or “nodding off” behind the wheel at least once in their lives in a 2015 survey by the AAA Foundation. One third of all drivers admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open while driving over the past 30 days.

However, the problem of drowsy driving seems to be more prevalent among certain groups of people. Based on the GHSA report, drivers under the age of 25 are responsible for over 50 percent of drowsy driving crashes. This is not a surprise, as teens and young adults generally have stressful schedules and do not get enough sleep every night. Workers who work overnight or rotating shifts are also prone to drowsy driving.

How can I avoid drowsy driving?

Follow these tips to ensure that you are safe and alert on the roadways.

  • Make sure you get enough sleep, especially before a long drive. If you have not gotten 7-8 hours of sleep for multiple nights, your reaction time will be slower. It may take several nights of solid rest to make up for the sleep you lost.
  • Avoid even small amounts of alcohol when you are sleep-deprived. One beer combined with a lack of sleep can have the same effects as two or three beers when you are not sleepy.
  • Take a break every two hours or 100 miles while on the road.
  • Avoid driving alone. It is best to have a passenger to keep you alert and take over the wheel when you get tired.
  • Avoid driving during the late night/early morning hours, as well as in the mid-afternoon. People tend to be especially drowsy during these times.
Jason R. Schultz
Helping Georgia area residents with car accident, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims since 1991.