Given the amount of time and resources spent on educating people about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, most in Richmond might find it relatively easy to avoid putting themselves in situations where they might even consider engaging in such practices. Yet there is another form of dangerous driving that poses a threat to all who are on the road: drowsy driving. While many may not even think of texting while driving or getting behind the wheel after drinking, countless people may jump in their vehicles and drive off while tired or drowsy without giving it a second thought.
Just how great of a threat is drowsy driving? Information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that as recently as 2013, it was cited as the cause of over 72,000 car accidents. An even more frightening statistic may be that one out of 25 drivers admit to having fallen asleep while driving within the last month.
That number of course only represents those who admit to it. It is this prevalence of people willing to drive after only a few hours of sleep that makes drowsy driving such a danger. Most likely believe that no matter how tired they may feel, they will be able to stay awake and attentive while at the wheel. Unfortunately, they often do not realize how much their drowsiness may be impairing them. According to data shared by the National Sleep Foundation, those who drive after having been awake for 24 consecutive hours might experience the same level of impairment as one whose blood alcohol content measures 0.10.
People who work swing or graveyard shifts, suffer from sleep disorders (both known and undiagnosed), and commercial vehicle drivers are those demographic groups that have shown to be the most likely experience drowsiness while driving.