California drivers like you come across innumerable dangers and obstacles in your drives. Many other drivers pose a danger without even realizing it. Rarely do drivers intentionally drive in a risky way.
Drowsy drivers often fall in the first category. They do not realize how much danger they pose to you. But in reality, drowsy drivers can actually pose some of the biggest threats you may face.
Statistics of drowsy driving in crashes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses drowsy driving crash statistics. Drowsy drivers were responsible for around 83,000 crashes between 2005 and 2009. Experts estimate that annual fatalities can reach up to 6,000 deaths a year due to drowsy drivers.
Anyone can drive drowsy. This sets it apart from texting while driving, which has a disproportionate affect on younger drivers. Certain age ranges are more prone to this form of distracted driving. Drowsy driving happens to people of any age. A student may drive drowsy because they did not get enough sleep before a test. A middle-aged worker may drive drowsy because they work the graveyard shift. An elderly driver may drive drowsy because of the effects of their medication.
What causes drowsy driving?
All it takes for drowsy driving is a lack of sleep. If you get six hours or less a night, you are technically a drowsy driver. This lack of sleep can happen for many reasons, including:
- Sleep disorders
- Physical health disorders that affect your sleep
- Mental health issues like anxiety or depression
- Shift work
- Commercial driving, especially trucking
- Medications that affect your sleep
Because anyone can drive drowsy, this problem is widespread. That is part of what makes it such a huge issue.