If Pennsylvania drivers get behind the wheel when they are overly tired, they’re endangering not only themselves but others who are on the roadway. Studies have revealed that driving drowsy provides a similar level of impairment as driving drunk. The scary part is that 50% of American adults in one survey admitted to driving drowsy.
What are the statistics of drowsy driving?
In 2017 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 91,000 car accidents caused by drowsy driving. Out of these 91,000 accidents, there were 50,000 injuries and 795 deaths reported. There’s no denying the fact that drowsy driving is indeed dangerous to everybody on the roadway.
One study took a look at the level of impairment that drowsy driving can have on the body. To help put this into perspective, researchers compared drowsy driving to drunk driving. It was discovered that drowsy drivers lacking 18 straight hours of sleep have similar impairment levels to people with a blood-alcohol content of 0.50. When the driver approaches 20 hours without sleep, their impairment level goes up to 0.08. After 24 hours of being awake, a driver’s impairment level is equal to having a blood-alcohol content of 0.10.
How to tell if you’re too drowsy to drive
It’s not uncommon for people to be tired from time to time. However, it’s important to pay close attention to when you hit the point of being drowsy as it can affect your ability to drive safely on the roadway. Some common symptoms that a drowsy driver will have include frequent yawning, heavy eyelids, daydreaming and poor recall of the last few miles. Drowsy drivers may engage in hitting the rumble strips, tailgating and even missing road signs and exits.
Getting behind the wheel while drowsy can be extremely dangerous. It’s crucial for a person to assess their driving abilities and pay close attention to any symptoms of drowsiness in order to avoid causing a motor vehicle accident.