A new CDC study has found that more than 4% of drivers report that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel in the 30 days prior to being asked. The CDC study broke up the question by age, gender, ethnicity and other factors. Overall, the total number of drivers that had reported falling asleep behind the wheel in the last month was 4.2%.
Adults aged 25-34 years reported the highest number of incidents of falling asleep behind the wheel: 6.3%. The second highest percentage was among those aged between 35-44 years, who reported 5.5%. Perhaps surprisingly, the lowest percentage was reported among those aged above 65 years, who reported a comparatively small 1.7% figure.
These figures have very disturbing implications for anyone on the road.
Driving while you’re drowsy carries with it the risk that you will fall asleep, of course, but also carries with it other risks. A test conducted on the popular television show Mythbusters demonstrated that driving drowsy has many of the same risks associated with it as driving drunk.
When people are drowsy behind the wheel, their reflexes are slower, they oftentimes have a hard time paying attention and drifting across lanes is far too common. They may have a hard time focusing enough to stay within the posted speed limits and they may very well end up falling asleep, just as the report from the CDC details.
What’s so dangerous about falling asleep behind the wheel is the fact that the car continues travelling and, even at a modest speed, it can travel quite a distance in the 1 or 2 seconds that a drowsy driver may spend asleep behind the wheel. A car travelling at 60 mph, for instance, will travel over 80 feet in a second. That’s plenty of room to end up running into an obstruction, to run off of the road or to slam into an oncoming car.
Driving drowsy might be scary, but it’s also negligent. It’s imperative that drivers pull over and rest if they’re tired on a long road trip or that they simply choose not to drive if they’re drowsy and closer to home. If you’ve been hit by a drowsy driver or one who actually nodded off behind the wheel, call a Dallas car accident attorney about filing a lawsuit against the driver. You may stand to win compensation.