California Injury Attorneys
Since 1978

How does drowsiness contribute to crashes?

| May 12, 2021

Distractions are some of a driver’s biggest risks and hurdles on the road. This includes many actions and activities, like texting while driving. It can even include states of mind or physical wellness, such as drowsiness. 

But how exactly does drowsiness contribute to crashes? And how does it impact the safety of drivers on a whole? 

Struggles drowsy drivers face

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss how drowsiness may contribute to roadway risks. Drowsiness acts in a way similar to intoxication. In fact, intoxicated and drowsy drivers often share many of the same struggles. For example, a drowsy driver may struggle with: 

  • Concentration and focus 
  • Paying attention to the road 
  • Spotting dangers before they become an issue 
  • Reacting quickly and efficiently 
  • Having decent reflexes 

Unconsciousness leading to crashes

They also face the unique danger of falling asleep at the wheel. This may happen in bursts of several seconds, known as micro sleep. Someone can also just fully fall asleep at the wheel for much longer. This means they cannot react to their surroundings at all. Many lethal accidents happen due to sleeping drivers who drive off the side of the road or over the meridian into oncoming traffic. 

Unfortunately, another issue is that drowsy driving often gets a pass as “acceptable” risky driving behavior. This makes it more prevalent than other types of dangerous driving, which means you are more likely to get involved in a crash with a drowsy driver. These risks combine to make drowsy driving one of the riskiest and deadliest of all distracted driving behaviors currently plaguing the road.