Distracted driving behaviors make up a large category of dangerous driving that can put everyone on the road at risk.
This includes drowsy driving, which most people likely would not think of when coming up with examples of distracted driving. Despite how dangerous this is, is it actually illegal to drive while drowsy?
Tolerance for drowsy driving
The CDC discusses driving while drowsy, which in and of itself is not illegal. This is due in part to the fact that, unlike other forms of distraction, drowsiness does not have an easy unit of measurement. Generally speaking, one must simply go with the word of the driver in question.
On top of that, the general populace considers drowsy driving as a largely acceptable risky driving behavior. Many believe that it holds a relative amount of safety due to anecdotal or personal “evidence”, i.e. they have driven drowsy and nothing happened to them.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one instance for a person’s life to end up ruined due to drowsy driving. These crashes often have high rates of injury and even fatalities due to a driver falling asleep at the wheel even for just a few seconds.
Illegal matters tied to drowsiness
That said, while drowsy driving itself is not illegal, some of the behaviors associated with it are. For example, many drowsy drivers will break road rules and drive recklessly while falling asleep. They may speed, swerve, or come to sudden stops. An officer can pull a drowsy driver over for these reasons, and can potentially remove one more danger from the road in doing so.