California drivers understand that some driving behaviors are risky. Distracted or inebriated driving often come to mind first. But what about drowsy driving? This is a dangerous driving behavior, too.

Today, we will take a closer look at how drowsy driving impacts the safety of others on the road. In specific, we will examine the safety of bicyclists in relation to drowsy driving.

The toll of drowsy driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study the effects of drowsy driving on road safety. They say drowsy driving causes a large number of accidents and deaths. The actual death toll in some surveys may low-ball true numbers, too. Why does drowsy driving has such high potential for fatalities? Because it resembles other forms of distracted driving. Risks involved with this type of driving include:

  • Drivers being unable to predict dangers
  • Slow reaction times
  • Inability to focus

Drowsy drivers may also fall asleep at the wheel. This completely removes their control over the vehicle. Many fatal crashes happen when drowsy drivers fall asleep.

Why bicyclists face such risk

Bicyclists are at an elevated risk for danger due to drowsy drivers. Why? Because they are already hard for drivers to spot. Their small size and lack of bright lights often lead to crashes. Drivers claim they did not see the bicyclist. When exhausted, a driver has even worse reaction times. They may not even see other cars, let alone a bicyclist.

Of course, bicyclists lack the protection of covered vehicle drivers. This means they are at greater risk of severe injury. This is important for drivers to keep in mind before getting behind the wheel when tired.