There are numerous health concerns that are common among the American population and that could potentially have a negative impact on your safety when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. People who struggle with substance abuse disorders might get behind the wheel while chemically impaired, which can lead to tragedy. Those with other health concerns could experience some kind of medical event while driving.
There are certain concerns that are so common that people don’t even recognize them as an issue anymore. Chronic fatigue is a noteworthy concern for many American adults. People simply do not get enough rest, and therefore they are never at full functioning capacity because their bodies and brains require more sleep than they regularly get.
Unfortunately, the average adult’s lack of adequate sleep also translates to increased crash risk on the roads.
What drowsy driving means for public safety
Many safety experts compare fatigue to alcohol impairment. It alters how your brain handles the responsibility of driving. The more tired you are, the more you may notice negative effects from your exhaustion.
People may have trouble making the right decision as quickly as they would need to to avoid a crash. They may struggle to remain focused on the road. They may also potentially fall asleep at the wheel. Any of these issues could lead to a crash that might have life-altering consequences for the people involved.
Drowsy driving is frighteningly common
Safety experts estimate that drowsy driving is responsible for roughly 6,400 traffic fatalities each year, but it can be very hard to accurately track how fatigue affects traffic safety. Police officers and other experts primarily rely on self-reported information provided by the drivers involved in the wreck. Many people estimate that fatigue may cause 350% as many crashes as current federal statistics indicate.
How can you protect yourself?
Prioritizing your sleep is crucial for your long-term health. From your physical well-being to your mental health, many aspects of your life will suffer negative effects when you do not get adequate sleep. Being aware of how drowsy drivers might make the roads unsafe and the times when drowsiness is higher than usual, including the late afternoon and after dark, could make a big difference to your safety when out on the road.
Learning more about common causes of motor vehicle collisions will benefit those hoping to avoid a crash.