Some Florida motorists may not be aware of the dangers of driving while drowsy. It is not uncommon for people to drive after just a few hours of sleep, following a long double shift at work or to get more miles in on a long trip before stopping for the day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving causes around 100,000 crashes annually. Since pinpointing drowsy driving as a cause relies on self-reporting, the true number may be higher.
Dangers of drowsy driving
Many people who would not dream of getting behind the wheel after one or more drinks will do so when they are tired. However, once you have gone 20 hours without sleep, you are impaired in the same way that someone who has consumed more than the legal limit of alcohol is. Your ability to react to hazards and focus on the road in front of you worsens as you get more tired, and you are substantially more likely to be in a traffic accident.
Signs of fatigue
You may even be among the more than 40% of drivers who say they have fallen asleep while driving before. To avoid this, you should note when you are getting too sleepy to drive and might need to pull over or let someone else take over. For example, if you begin drifting into another lane, missing turns or find you cannot remember the last several miles, you could be too drowsy.
Safety technology has improved to a degree that can also help you avoid accidents caused by fatigue. For example, some vehicles will alert you if you drift into another lane or might even monitor your eye movements to ensure that you remain alert and focused. However, instead of relying on your car, you should only drive when well-rested.