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What are the dangers of drowsy driving and who is at risk?

While most New Yorkers know that it is dangerous to fall asleep at the wheel, many fail to recognize the risks associated with drowsy driving. Unfortunately, numerous motor vehicle accidents are caused each year by overly tired motorists. As a result of such collisions, the drowsy drivers, their passengers, or you and the occupants of your vehicles may be seriously injured or killed.

Drivers do not have to fall asleep for their ability to drive safely to be affected. If they are overly tired, they may experience impairments similar to those that are caused by alcohol intoxication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that some of the most common effects of drowsy driving include the following:

  •          Impaired ability to focus on the road and the task of driving
  •          Slowed reactions to situations that may arise on the road
  •          Compromised ability to make sound decisions

Due to these, and other impairments, motorists may be more likely to cause an auto accident if you are overly fatigued. Consequently, their decision to get behind the wheel when they are drowsy may put you and others at risk.

In general, any drivers who are not well-rested may be at risk for drowsy driving. The danger may be greater, however, for certain groups of motorists. Those who have an untreated sleep disorder or are using sleep medications, for example, may have an increased risk for drowsy driving. Additionally, shift workers and commercial truck operators may also be more likely to drive when overly tired.

This post may help you to understand the dangers that drowsy drivers may pose. It is important to keep in mind, however, that each situation and person is unique. Therefore, this should only be considered as general information and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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