You may be among the numerous West Virginia residents who often feel as if you did not get a good night’s sleep before having to head off to work in the morning. Even after a cup of coffee or two, you may still feel that drag of fatigue behind your eyelids. Still, you have places to go.
While you may feel as if you simply need to shake off the fatigue, hop in the car and head to work, you may be putting yourself and others in more danger than you realize. Drowsy driving is considerably dangerous, and even though you and many others believe that going to work despite your tiredness is necessary, it is still risky.
How prominent is drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving is a substantial issue. As the previous example showed, you and numerous other people likely cannot avoid getting behind the wheel even if you did not get enough rest because you have important obligations to handle. Still, drowsy driving contributes to thousands of crashes, injuries and deaths. In fact, it is estimated that 6,000 fatal crashes occur every year due to drowsy driving.
Unfortunately, many people are more susceptible to driving while fatigued, including:
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers who do not get enough sleep
- Drivers who work night shifts or long shifts
- Commercial drivers
- Drivers who use medications that cause drowsiness
It is possible that millions of people live with sleep disorders, which means that there are likely numerous drowsy drivers on the road at any given time.
Are you too drowsy to drive?
Though any amount of drowsiness could compromise your driving abilities, you may want to watch out for certain signs, such as:
- Drifting out of your lane
- Excessive yawning
- Blinking frequently
- Not remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing your road or interstate exit
- Drifting onto the rumble strip on the side of the road
If possible, it is always a good idea to get a ride from someone else if you did not get enough rest the night before or are drowsy for other reasons. Drowsy driving is a serious concern, and unfortunately, you could end up the victim of a crash caused by someone who chose to get behind the wheel while fatigued. If that does happen to you, your life could face drastic changes.