Is drowsy driving a form of distraction?

Distractions on the road contribute to a massive number of deaths and injuries every year. Unfortunately, there is no real sign of this slowing down, either.

Many behaviors fall under the umbrella of driver distraction. Some are easy to pinpoint, such as texting while driving. Others are a little harder to categorize, such as driving without getting enough sleep. But all of these behaviors create the same potential risks.

Issues distracted and drowsy drivers face

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss drowsy driving and the potential hazards it may cause. Drowsy driving is a distracted driving behavior due to the fact that it takes your attention away from the road. Because of that, it creates the same risks that other forms of distraction do. This can include:

  • Not noticing danger in time to react to it
  • Having a distorted sense of where things are or when they happen
  • Being unable to concentrate on surrounding vehicles or traffic signs and signals
  • Having slow physical and mental reaction times to your surroundings

Falling asleep at the wheel

On top of that, drowsy driving holds a unique risk in the form of falling asleep at the wheel. Needless to say, this is one of the most dangerous potential situations a driver can get into. Falling unconscious renders a driver incapable of reacting in any way. Sleeping drivers often end up in lethal crashes because of that, as it is common to rear-end someone at full speed or drift over the center dividing line into oncoming traffic.

Experts continue working to bring awareness of this danger to drivers everywhere. In the meantime, drivers refusing to get behind the wheel when exhausted can help potentially cut down on distracted driving fatalities and injuries.