Sharing the road with other Georgia drivers is a major responsibility. When you are behind the wheel, you owe it to yourself and to other drivers to maintain safe driving habits to reduce the risk of accidents. What happens if you share the road with a drowsy driver? Drowsy driving, like drunk driving and distracted driving, is an example of impaired driving, according to the National Safety Council.

Unfortunately, drowsy driving is common. There are about 100,000 accidents reported per year, involving drowsy drivers. More than 1,500 of these accidents result in fatalities. Of course, it is also difficult to determine an accurate number of accidents because it is difficult to prove whether a person was drowsy behind the wheel. In fact, one survey claims that there are about 300,000 accidents per year, which is beyond the police reported average per year.

Drowsy driving decreases a driver’s reaction time and can lead to a driver being three times more likely to wreck a car. When it comes to drowsy driving, the best defense is to have adequate sleep. If you are drowsy, it is possible to experience microsleeps. You may be unaware of dozing off before and after it happens. In fact, many people underestimate how tired they are while driving.

Some ways to combat drowsy driving include:

  • Side effect warnings on medication bottles
  • Employers educating employees on adequate sleep
  • Lane departure warnings in vehicles

Drowsy driving can affect any driver, but tends to affect young men the most.

The above information is to educate on the prevalence and prevention of drowsy driving. It is not legal advice.