Life can get so busy that you barely have time to get a good night’s sleep. However, sleep is essential for your health and well-being. This is especially true if you need to drive the morning after a night of poor sleep. If you do not sleep well, you could put yourself at risk for a serious accident. The National Sleep Foundation explains that driving when tired can lead to a lack of coordination, reduced reaction times and issues similar to those you would have if you were drunk.
Many people do not take drowsy driving seriously. This is probably because not getting enough sleep is a very common occurrence. In fact, on your morning commute, you likely interact with many drivers who did not get enough sleep the night before. Our busy lives make it tough to get the recommended eight hours. However, drowsy driving is a serious issue that you should concern yourself over. Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. You may not recognize the signs
Just as with drunk driving, you may not realize how tired you are. Drowsy driving may lead to zoning out where you drive, but then you suddenly realize that you do not remember driving a certain distance. It can cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel, as well.
2. No sleep is like drinking alcohol
Drowsy driving and drunk driving are very similar because alcohol and a lack of sleep similarly impact your abilities. Staying awake for 24 hours is like drinking to the point where you would have a .10 blood alcohol content. While you may not go a whole day without sleep, even missing a couple hours could be bad. Sleeping for only six hours a night compares to a BAC of .05.
3. You may react worse when tired
Drunk drivers often react in an accident situation, but due to slow reaction times, they still end up crashing. The scary thing about driving tired is that you may fall asleep and never even have a chance to react to an accident. While you are asleep, anything can happen, and your vehicle is still traveling at whatever speed you were going. Instead of a delayed slow down, you have no slow down at all.
Drowsy driving is an issue that you cannot ignore. It is time to wake up and realize that getting enough sleep is essential to staying safe on the road.