Drowsy driving is a form of distracted driving that causes many fatalities and injuries a year. Despite that, the general public still views drowsy driving in a different light than intoxicated driving.
Why does this happen? Why do drowsy drivers continue to put other vehicles at risk? And what can potentially change this trend?
Drowsy driving takes a back seat
The Sleep Foundation examines drowsy driving and its continued impact on driver safety. Experts across the board examine the continued impact of drowsiness on road safety. Unfortunately, as the years go by, drowsy driving continues to climb as a major risk factor to everyone on the road.
But why does this happen? Experts believe many factors are at play. For one, drowsy driving does not get the spotlight often when it comes to safe driving campaigns. Texting while driving often gets the lion’s share of media attention.
Also, it is easier to prove other forms of driver distraction. Intoxicated drivers can go through a battery of tests that will examine their breath, blood and more for signs of alcohol or drug use. Cell phone history records often show if a driver texted at the time of a crash, too. But there are no tests to determine the drowsiness levels of a driver.
Difficulties with anti-drowsy driving legislation
It is hard to pass legislation about drowsy driving because of this. On top of that, laws regulating how much sleep you get before you drive often toe too far into the driver’s personal life. Thus, these laws do not get much support in court.
Finally, drowsy driving has a larger rate of general acceptance than other forms of dangerous driving. Many consider drowsy driving an inevitability. Until this mindset changes, drowsy driving may continue to take lives at an increasing rate.