Who is at risk for a drowsy driving accident?

Tuesday October 14, 2014

When it comes to drinking and driving in Connecticut, it is safe to assume that most — if not all — drivers have heard about the dangers associated with drunk driving. However, while the messages around driving while intoxicated are ones that we tend to hear time and time again, some drivers may be surprised to hear that drowsy driving can be just as fatal.

According to a 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll, 60 percent of adult drivers reported driving while feeling fatigued. This means approximately 168 million people drove at some point during that last year while tired. But, what is even scarier is the fact that another 103 million admitted to falling asleep while driving. 

Clearly, this is dangerous. Even if someone does not fully fall asleep, tired drivers tend to have slower reactions times and decreased awareness. Like drunk driving, drowsy driving also impairs judgment and increases the likelihood of getting into a crash.

With drowsy driving, anyone who does not get enough sleep — or just feels tired — could be at risk of getting into an accident. This being said though, the National Sleep Foundation released the findings of a 2002 poll, which looked at certain risk factors, including who is more likely to drive tired.

According to the poll, adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to drive tired than drivers in other age ranges. Additionally, the poll also found that men are more likely than women to drive when tired. Shift workers also have an increased risk of driving to or from work tired.

Maybe not so unsurprising to parents, the same poll also found that drivers who had children living in their households were also more likely to drive tired. 

Of course, this is not to say that fathers in their 20s are the only ones driving tired. In fact, fatigued driving is something that can — and does — impact drivers of all ages. The issue though, is that tired driving can affect not only the driver, but also anyone else who also happens to be on the road.

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