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Can a drowsy driver put everyone at risk?

Driving essentially exists as a collaborative activity despite each driver controlling their own vehicle, simply because all drivers must share the road. Of course, this means one person taking part in a dangerous act could endanger all drivers.

This extends to drowsy driving. The act may not seem serious at first, but it can actually cause serious, life-ending incidents.

Falling asleep at the wheel

The CDC discusses the issue of drowsy driving. Unfortunately, this form of distracted driving does not get as much media attention, especially compared to other counterparts under the umbrella, such as texting while driving.

However, drowsy driving can actually create a huge safety impact on the lives of many drivers. This is because it potentially involves moments of complete unconsciousness on the part of the drowsy driver. This renders them entirely incapable of reacting to any dangers present, which often results in some of the most serious crashes on the road. Examples include driving across the median on a highway into oncoming traffic or hitting cars on off-ramps.

A “socially acceptable” risk

Another unique danger of drowsy driving is the fact that it is more socially acceptable than most forms of risky driving behaviors. Many people engage in it daily, and because of that, a false narrative exists that paints drowsy driving as a relatively safe thing to do.

This could not be farther from the truth. In reality, while a person may drive drowsy numerous times in their life, it only takes one wrong turn for someone’s life to end due to a drowsy driving crash. And it is impossible for a driver to guess when that time will come.

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