If you get behind the wheel of your car when you are feeling drowsy, then you may have a higher probability of being involved in a motor vehicle accident than Texas drivers who are not fatigued. It is difficult to get actual statistics on how many accidents are caused by drowsy driving since this often relies on self-reporting, but some years ago the National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey and found that almost two-thirds of respondents said that over the previous year they had driven while fatigued at some point.
What the statistics say
Several organizations have made estimates about how often drowsy driving leads to accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that in 2017, drowsy driving caused around 800 deaths and 50,000 injuries. Other researchers have argued that these numbers are too low, that driving while fatigued may cause thousands of deadly motor vehicle accidents annually, and that drowsy driving is a factor in as many as one-fifth of accidents.
Many people have had the experience of drifting off for a few seconds in a boring meeting or movie. This might be for such a short time that others do not notice. However, those seconds can be disastrous when you are behind the wheel. On top of that, it is dangerous to drive when you are tired even when you stay awake. Your reaction time slows in a way that is similar to the effects of alcohol consumption.
Many people do exhausting shift work, suffer from sleep disorders or have other issues that might make it difficult to avoid driving when fatigued. Avoiding drowsy driving can seem impossible in a world where it is common to hear people complain about being tired all the time. However, making an effort to develop better driving habits helps keep you, your passengers and other people safer.