People in New Jersey, and elsewhere, often overlook the dangers of driving while overly tired or fatigued. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, drowsy driving contributed to over 800 deaths in 2014 alone. During that same year, many more people were seriously injured in drowsiness-related collisions.
The risks associated with falling asleep behind the wheel are somewhat obvious. However, driving while drowsy can create impairments that can be just as hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that drowsiness may affect drivers’ decision making and attentiveness. It can also decrease their reaction time, which may increase their chances of being involved in an auto accident.
In general, any motorist who is overly fatigued or tired may drive while overly fatigued or sleepy. Although, the risk may be greater for some groups. The NHTSA reports that those who sleep less than six hours each night and people who are suffering from sleep disorders may be at risk of drowsy driving. Additionally, shift workers who work through the night or for long hours may be more likely to get behind the wheel when they are too tired to drive safely. Young male drivers, between the ages of 17 and 23-years-old, also have an increased risk of driving while drowsy.
When people are involved in drowsy driving crashes, they may suffer serious injuries that require significant medical treatment. This often leads to medical bills they did not expect and, in some cases, may also force them to take an extended leave from work in order to recover. Consequently, they may also lose income they depend on to care for themselves and their families.