According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 adult drivers polled for one survey reported falling asleep at the wheel in the preceding 30 days. The danger of falling asleep while driving is somewhat obvious, but people in New York may not know that it is also hazardous to get behind the wheel when they are overly fatigued or tired.
Driving while sleepy or fatigued is a dangerous combination. This is because drowsiness may slow people’s reaction to situations that occur on the road. It also impairs their decision-making and their ability to focus on the road and the task of driving.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation and exhaustion can have the same effects on motorists as alcohol intoxication. People who have been awake for 18 consecutive hours may experience impairment like that of having a 0.05 BAC level, just shy of the legal limit. At 24 consecutive hours, drivers’ impairment may increase to commiserate with the effects of a BAC level of 0.10.
It can be difficult for motorists to know if they themselves or the others on the road with them are too drowsy to drive. Their vehicles drifting from their lanes and failing to brake or otherwise react to situations on the road may be signs that another driver is overly sleepy or fatigued. Being unable to recall the last stretch of road they drove, bobbing their heads, having heavy eyelids or having trouble focusing, may signal to drivers that they are too tired and need a break.