Much of the time, drowsy driving happens because a driver simply did not get enough sleep before they got behind the wheel. Maybe it's a college student who stayed up until 2:00 a.m. the night before an 8:00 a.m. class. Maybe it's a truck driver who had to get up early to pick up a shipment on time. It happens in a lot of different ways.
That said, it's important to remember that drowsy driving does not only happen because of a lack of sleep. Some other potential reasons that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note include:
- Doing shift work
- Drinking alcohol
- Taking certain medications
- Dealing with untreated sleep disorders
It's also simply different from one person to the next. Maybe driving has always put you into a sort of daze, lulling you to sleep. Maybe you find driving to be boring and repetitive. You may be at more risk of falling asleep.
On the other hand, maybe you think driving is fun and engaging. Maybe you actually enjoy it as a hobby, not just a way to get around. Your odds of nodding off could be lower than someone else's, although it could still happen. It can happen to anyone.
The key is to recognize when you're too tired to drive. Many people try to push through and drive anyway, but that's a very dangerous decision.
Unfortunately, even if you never drive when you're too tired, someone else could hit you. If you suffer serious injuries, make sure you know if you can seek out financial compensation.