It goes without saying that anyone can become drowsy while driving. Even if you were alert when you left home, you never know what will happen as you make your way down the road.
Of course, some people are at greater risk of drowsy driving than others. Here are a few groups of people who often struggle with this:
- Shift workers, such as those who rotate between day and night shifts
- Business travelers, as they are often on the road for too many hours at a time
- Drivers who don't make it a habit to get enough sleep every night
- Drivers who have been awake for an extended period of time
- Anyone with an untreated sleep disorder
- Drivers who are using medication that has the potential to cause drowsiness
- People who have been drinking alcohol or using drugs
If you fit into one of these categories, there is a greater chance that you will become drowsy when driving. Subsequently, there is also a greater chance that you will cause an accident.
Even if you are completely alert when you're behind the wheel, don't forget that other drivers may not feel the same way. For example, a trucker may be drowsy because he or she has been driving for a long period of time.
If a drowsy driver strikes your vehicle, you need to move to safety (if possible) and then call 911. Once an ambulance and the police arrive, you can feel better about what will happen next.
Your health is always top priority, but don't overlook the fact that you also need to protect your legal rights. You may be able to seek compensation from the negligent party.
Source: UCLA, "Drowsy Driving," accessed Nov. 24, 2017