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How does drowsy driving compare to alcohol-impaired driving?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Personal Injury

Did you know that approximately 50% of American adults have admitted to fatigued driving? Research has shown that one in 25 drivers have slept at the wheel.

It’s no wonder drowsy driving contributes to a significant percentage of motor vehicle accidents. But why doesn’t fatigued driving receive as much attention as alcohol-impaired driving?

Drowsy driving is a silent threat on the roads

Drowsy driving is often underestimated, yet it poses a significant risk to road safety. Fatigue behind the wheel can impair reaction times, attention and decision-making abilities. Therefore, it’s crucial for drivers to recognize the signs of drowsy driving. They include:

  • Heavy eyelids: One of the earliest signs of drowsy driving is struggling to keep your eyes open.
  • Yawning and blinking: Frequent yawning and blinking may indicate a decrease in alertness.
  • Drifting between lanes: Inability to maintain a consistent lane position is a red flag for drowsiness.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving contributes to thousands of accidents each year.

Both drowsy driving and alcohol-impaired driving result in slowed reaction times, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Additionally, both conditions also lead to a decrease in alertness, jeopardizing the ability to respond to sudden changes on the road.

Both drowsy driving and alcohol-impaired driving pose substantial risks on the road. While their root causes differ, the outcome—impaired driving—is a shared concern. Drivers should prioritize road safety by refraining from getting behind the wheel when they’re impaired by sleep or alcohol.