You’ve definitely heard of drunk driving and distracted driving, but do you know about drowsy driving? As the name makes clear, drowsy driving involves someone who feels tired or exhausted getting behind the wheel despite their sleepiness. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving is one of the most pressing and consistent issues that affect public safety on the roads across the United States. Significantly more people than you might imagine get behind the wheel while they are too tired to drive safely, a decision that might put them at risk of causing a crash, even if they don’t fall asleep at the wheel.

How driving while drowsy affects your driving performance

Exhaustion negatively impacts your cognitive function. The longer it has been since you have had a restful sleep, the greater the impact your fatigue will have on your ability to drive safely. Drivers who feel exhausted may notice that they have a hard time focusing on the road or making quick decisions. 

Exhaustion affects both cognitive function and reaction time. As if taking longer to respond to changing conditions wasn’t dangerous enough, there is also the risk of completely losing control of the vehicle if someone falls asleep at the wheel. As the CDC reports, as many as 1 in 25 adults admitted during a survey to having fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the last 30 days. 

Drowsy drivers put others at risk much like distracted and drunk drivers do. If you believe exhaustion played a role in a crash, evidence supporting your worry could lead to liability for the drowsy driver.