The majority of the population is informed about the severity and dangers of drunk driving. Despite this knowledge, there is an average of 900,000 arrested each year for DUI/DWI and ⅓ of those are repeat offenders. The consequences of drowsy driving are similar to those of drunk driving, but fewer people are aware.
One of the most difficult aspects of drowsy driving is our lack of ability to measure it. Intoxication can be tested with a breathalyzer and drunk driving can be penalized with a law. Drowsy driving, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to detect and even harder to penalize. In addition, there is little or no police training for dealing with a case of drowsy driving.
It is also difficult for the driver to determine the danger of a situation until they are driving and struggling to stay awake. Both adults and children are inclined to downplay their drowsiness in order to get to their destination. Drunk driving and drowsy driving are the causes of thousands of automobile collisions around the world. Dozing off at the wheel does not only cause collisions with other vehicles but also with non-moving objects on the side of the road. A person’s reaction to dozing off is just as bad as the dozing off itself. When a driver recognizes that he or she has fallen asleep at the wheel, the reaction often consists of strong jolts and acceleration, which can easily lead to collision.
Automobile collisions from drunk and drowsy driving can be extremely expensive and put the lives of those involved at severe risk. Next time you decide to get behind the wheel after a sleepless night, think of all these consequences.