Why is Drowsiness Such a Large Risk?

Driving a car is primarily a motor skill which you may not consciously think about all the time. You may wonder, therefore, why drowsiness poses such a risk to drivers while motoring in the darkness. The fact is that attentiveness is vital to maintaining safety on the roads. By avoiding drowsiness, you will be going a long way to preserve both your life and the lives of others.

Problems with Drowsiness

Drowsiness is actually a common phenomenon. It has a feature of many horrible crashes which have cost lives. However, it is difficult to figure out whether drowsiness causes accidents to happen or whether it is a contributory factor. However much drowsiness is to blames for car crashes, it is best to avoid drowsiness yourself.

It is possible that you may feel drowsy because you are tired. Tiredness can cause difficulty in maintaining your attention on the road and may cause you to misread the presence of potential hazards on the road. The worst case scenario would be to feel so drowsy that you fall asleep at the wheel.

The big problem with falling asleep at the wheel is the speed you may be travelling at when you crash. Often drivers are travelling at full speed when they crash into a tree or a fence or an oncoming car, because they have not been able to take evasive action, either through being asleep or not sufficiently alert. In an ordinary scenario, you may be able to brake or steer yourself out of danger, but if you have fallen asleep at the wheel, you will be unable to do this and so any crash resulting from extreme drowsiness can be very severe.

You may be able to spot when you are becoming drowsy. If your thoughts start wandering and appear disconnected, and you cannot remember anything about the last few miles, it is probably time to pull over and take a break from driving. Repeated yawning is another sign, as is finding it difficult to keep your eyes open or focused, and feeling that your head is very heavy.

People Most at Risk

If you do find yourself becoming drowsy as you drive, it can often be a good idea to stop in a safe place so that you can stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Hopefully, the combination of fresh air and movement will rejuvenate your brain and make you alert enough to complete your journey. You could also use a burst of caffeine to help you get to where you are going, but be aware that caffeine may contribute to more tiredness later as the effects wear off. It can also be a good idea to simply pull over and take a nap.

Some drivers are more at risk of becoming drowsy while on the road than others. People who work shifts or long hours are at particularly high risk of becoming drowsy at the wheel. Our bodies are automatically programmed to become sleepy when it becomes dark and it can take a long time to adjust to a more unnatural routine. If you do not keep regular sleep patterns, or you have not yet become used to your shift, you are more likely to become drowsy at an inconvenient time.

Young people can also be at high risk of drowsiness. Young people often do not get enough sleep or keep irregular sleep patterns that can contribute to drowsiness. Driving at night is also inherently more dangerous as the body starts to go into sleep mode. In conclusion, there are many reasons why drowsiness is such a large risk and should be avoided.

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