While everyone has heard that it is dangerous to drive while drowsy, many people wonder if it is really as serious as it sounds. Whether or not you are part of the 83.6 million drivers across the country who the Connecticut Post reports operate a vehicle while suffering from sleep deprivation each day, it is important to learn the facts surrounding drowsy driving.
You are more likely to crash if you are a young adult, since over half of accidents due to sleep deprivation involve a driver who is under the age of 25. A total of around 5,000 fatalities were reported in 2015 and around 328,000 crashes due to drowsy driving occur each year. Law enforcement officers believe that number may not be entirely accurate, since it can be difficult to determine if the driver of an accident was suffering from sleep deprivation.
Researchers report that drivers who operated a vehicle after being awake for 24 hours showed the same levels of impairment that a drunk driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1 percent would have. A mere 18 hours of being awake resulted in a 0.05 percent BAC similarity and 21 hours of sleeplessness left the driver exhibiting the reactions as someone at the legal limit of 0.08 percent would show. Data also indicates that 10 to 20 percent of all bus or truck accidents report drowsy driving to be a factor.
While two states have created laws targeting tired drivers, other states have installed signs and warnings to remind drivers of the dangers. A 63 percent reduction in drowsy driving crashes is being credited to these measures.