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You are more tired when driving than you think

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | Car Accidents |

We are probably all familiar with becoming sleepy while driving, particularly after driving for a long time. Drowsy driving is a common problem in Kentucky and a cause of many serious car accidents.

There may be times that you know you are not at your most alert, but figure that you can still drive safely. However, recent research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers underestimate how tired they are.

Simulated experiment reveals facts about drowsy driving

The research was based on a simulated driving experiment. One of the conclusions drawn from the experiment was that drivers typically did not take rest breaks unless they thought that they were very drowsy.

Drivers in the experiment also regularly rated their drowsiness levels as low when in fact they were moderate to high. The problem with this is that if you do not realize how tired you are, you are not likely to stop for a rest break.

Even worse, when drivers acknowledged that they were very drowsy, they still declined most rest break opportunities and wanted to keep driving.

The dangers of drowsy driving

Dangers from drowsy driving include more than just falling asleep at the wheel, which can obviously lead to a serious or deadly accident. Drowsy drivers are less alert, which slows down reaction time.

This means if you are driving while you are too tired, you have a higher chance of not braking in time, losing control of your vehicle or swerving into another vehicle.

One of the researchers remarked that drowsy driving is a form of impairment and emphasized the importance of recognizing when you are drowsy driving.

Even a short rest break can help

Although you might be on a tight schedule, stopping for a quick 15-to-20-minute rest break can significantly improve your alertness.

Drowsy driving is a factor in many Kentucky car accidents. If you are in an accident, evidence that the other driver was drowsy can help you recover compensation through a personal injury action.