Feeling sleepy but really have to get somewhere? Driving while fatigued is never a good idea, but just how dangerous is it to get behind the wheel when you can barely keep your eyes open? According to a recent research report, the risks of driving while you’re drowsy are very high indeed.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recentlyreleased a report that found driver fatigue to be involved in 21 percent, or one in five, fatal traffic accidents. While the official statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on fatigued drivers are lower, the new AAA report confirms what experts on safety issues have suspected for a long time now: it’s dangerous to drive when you’re feeling drowsy.
In an analysis of 14,268 traffic accidents occurring between 2009 and 2013 which involved at least one of the vehicles being towed from the scene, the researchers found that one third of the crashes that involved a drowsy driver resulted in injuries, and over 6,000 of the accidents related to driving while fatigued resulted in at least one fatality.
While most people know that you shouldn’t drive when you’re fatigued, previous research has found that more than 28 percent admitted to having driven while drowsy within the previous month. One reason for this may be because drivers overestimate their ability to stay awake while behind the wheel, despite their feelings of drowsiness
If you’re driving and find yourself experiencing the warning signs of drowsy or fatigued driving, such as trouble keeping your eyes open, yawning repeatedly, missing traffic signs or drifting out of your lane into another lane, it might be a good idea to remember these latest fatigued driving statistics, get off the road and find a place where you can get some rest instead of continuing to drive.