The risks associated with drowsy driving are as numerous as those related to drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “In a 24/7 society, with an emphasis on work, longer commutes, and exponential advancement of technology, many people do not get the sleep they need. Effectively dealing with the drowsy-driving problem requires fundamental changes to societal norms, especially attitudes about drowsy driving.”
What are the Dangers Associated with Drowsy Driving in Georgia?
The leading problem with drowsy driving is that fatigue can lead to decreased cognitive function, affecting a driver’s ability to make sound judgments, assess risks accurately, and make split-second decisions. This impairment can result in poor decision-making on the road.
Additional dangers include:
- Impaired Alertness and Reaction Time
Lack of sleep or fatigue can impair a driver’s alertness and reaction time. Drowsy drivers may struggle to stay focused on the road, process information quickly, and react promptly to changing traffic conditions.
- Lane Drifting and Weaving
Drowsy drivers are likelier to drift between lanes, weave within their lane, or even unintentionally cross into oncoming traffic. These behaviors increase the risk of collisions with other vehicles.
- Longer Reaction Times
Sleep deprivation can lead to longer reaction times, making it difficult for a driver to respond quickly to unexpected situations. In critical moments, a delayed reaction can be the difference between avoiding a collision and being involved in one.
- Impaired Driving Performance
Drowsy driving can impair a driver’s motor skills and coordination, making it challenging to control the vehicle effectively. This can lead to erratic driving behavior and an increased risk of collisions.
- Similar Impairment to Alcohol
Studies have suggested that being awake for an extended period can impair a person’s cognitive function to a level comparable to that of being under the influence of alcohol and combining fatigue with alcohol further compounds the risks.
- Increased Severity of Crashes
Fatigued drivers are more prone to making mistakes, such as failing to notice traffic signals, misjudging distances, or neglecting to check blind spots. When drowsy drivers are involved in collisions, the consequences can be more severe. The impaired state of the driver may result in a lack of evasive action, leading to high-impact collisions with more significant potential for injuries and fatalities.
To mitigate the dangers of drowsy driving, drivers must prioritize getting adequate sleep, take breaks during long journeys, and recognize the signs of fatigue.
If you have been injured in a collision caused by a drowsy driver in Georgia, contact our skilled personal injury lawyers and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry today at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected so you can make informed decisions about the direction of your claim.