Drivers face many dangers any time they hit the road. There are numerous sources of risk, and a driver could even end up engaging in risky behavior without realizing it. Distracted driving behaviors often rank at the top of this danger list.
Among these dangers, drowsy driving is one of the most common. But how does drowsiness impact drivers, anyway?
Physical effects of drowsiness
As the Sleep Foundation states, drowsiness has a huge impact on driver safety. Drowsiness actually affects drivers in a way similar to intoxication. Many physical symptoms end up shared between the two. For example, a drowsy driver will often experience:
- An inability to focus or concentrate on the task at hand
- The inability to detect or react to dangers
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Fumbling physical movements and clumsiness
This can lead to avoidable mistakes and accidents, such as not noticing that a car in front has come to a stop and rear-ending them.
Sleeping at the wheel
Drowsy drivers may also fall asleep at the wheel, which renders them entirely incapable of reacting to anything. Most of the deadliest crashes happen when a sleeping driver careens into oncoming traffic or off the road, unable to tell that they have left their lane.
Finally, drowsiness can affect driver behavior negatively, too. Many drowsy drivers might feel more prone to aggression, which can lead to aggressive driving. This comes with its own set of risks. Aggressive driving leads to crashes and loss of control over vehicles even when a driver is not drowsy.
For these reasons, drowsy driving has multiple negative impacts on drivers, their safety and the safety of everyone else on the road. This is also why you and others should take drowsy driving as the serious danger it is.