Many motorists in the Seattle area drive when they are feeling less alert and unrested, not realizing the dangers they face and create on the roads. Drowsy driving is dangerous. It can have devastating effects on individuals who end up in motor vehicle collisions with sleep deprived-drivers.
People may think driving while tired is nothing to worry about. But sleep deprivation affects the brain in similar ways that alcohol does. Here is a brief overview of the dangers of drowsy driving and how to avoid them.
The body's reaction to lack of sleep
Drivers who are sleepy make slower decisions. They also have slower response times, increasing the chances of them crashing their vehicles. Not only are drowsy drivers less likely to react in time to completely avoid hazards, if they fall asleep at the wheel, they may not react at all. The dangers increase tremendously when combined with the effects of drunk, distracted and reckless driving.
Ways to combat drowsy driving
The risk of crashing increases with each hour of sleep lost. People who cannot add more time to the amount of sleep they get at night may want to take power naps throughout the day.
Drivers should monitor how they feel when behind the wheel. Those who notice they are nodding off, that they have difficulty focusing or remembering where they are, or who find that their vehicle is drifting should get off the road. That is the time to pull over to a safe spot to take a nap.
Someone who plans to drive a long distance may benefit from asking a friend to split the driving duties. One person can take over driving when the other feels too sleepy to give the roads the attention they require.
Regardless of the cause, many car accidents do not have to happen. Prevention is the key to avoiding drowsy driving accidents and making the roads safer.