Drowsy Driving: As Dangerous As Driving Under the Influence

A recent AAA study confirmed that driving without enough sleep can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.

Their research shows that a driver who has gotten less than 5 hours sleep has a risk of getting into an auto accident that is comparable to a drunk driver. Even just missing between 1 and 2 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period doubles your risk of a car crash!  

Driving drowsy is a very common occurrence, with as many as 35% of U.S. drivers sleeping less than 7 hours per night. AAA warns that getting less than 7 hours of sleep could have fatal results - in fact, driving without enough sleep is a factor in more than 1 in 5 fatal U.S. crashes each year.

Are you at risk from drowsy driving? Have you found yourself struggling to keep your eyes open while operating a motor vehicle? You may be especially at risk if you have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or if you are a commercial vehicle operator. Workers with long hours and odd shifts like emergency room staff are also at high risk of drowsy driving.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

One way to prevent drowsy driving is by getting enough sleep each night. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day - even weekends - to establish a healthy sleep-wake rhythm. Enjoy quiet, relaxing time before bed and avoid the artificial light of a TV or computer screen. Don't drink alcoholic beverages or caffeine before bedtime. 

Here are some driving precautions that can help avert sleepy driving:

  • Don't drink and drive! Even 1 drink can affect your attention and reactions.
  • Review your medication labels and avoid driving if they may cause drowsiness.
  • On long trips, take a break every 2 hours to walk around and have a cup of coffee.
  • Be aware that if you begin to get sleepy while driving, you won't be able to overcome it by just opening up a window. Stop for a break or even take a quick nap in a safe area.
  • Ask your passenger to share the driving.

You may think that driving while drowsy is acceptable, but the dangers are too real. Getting enough sleep every night is important for your overall health as well as safety on the road.

We Can Help if You Have Been Injured in a Car Crash

If you or a family member has been injured in an auto accident or any type of personal injury, you need an attorney with the right experience in these cases. We will work hard for you and pursue compensation for your physical and emotional injuries. Please call The Francis Law Group for a free consultation. Attorney Tony Francis, personal injury attorney in Orlando, will fight to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve. You can reach us at 407-363-9939 or contact us via the website.