In our last post, we talked about the people who are most at risk of driving while fatigued in California and across the United States. Today, let’s focus on what makes drowsy driving so dangerous.
Often, when people are tired, they may not notice that they are suffering from the effects of fatigue. If you know what to look out for, you may be more likely to catch yourself before you get behind the wheel when you haven’t had enough sleep.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a drowsy driver is not as attentive as those on the road who have had enough sleep. When you are less attentive, you are not as likely to notice hazards on the road, such as vehicles slowing down in front of you.
In addition, the CDC notes that fatigued motorists have a slower reaction time behind the wheel. Imagine the serious consequences that could result if you react too slowly when the cars in front of you suddenly reduce their speed. If you don’t take immediate action to slow your car down as well, a serious multiple vehicle collision could take place within seconds.
Finally, based on information from the CDC, your ability to make decisions is influenced by a lack of sleep. Imagine again, you’re driving on the highway and the cars in front of you suddenly slow down. A well-rested person would immediately apply an appropriate amount of pressure on the brakes to slow down his or her vehicle. When fatigued, you do not immediately notice the cars slowing down. Then, you react slowly once you see the other cars’ brake lights. Finally, you make a last minute decision to swerve to avoid a rear-end collision, and end up in a lane of oncoming traffic.
As you can see, the effects of getting behind the wheel when you’re tired can be catastrophic and lead to serious auto accidents.