Did you know that driving without enough sleep can be as hazardous as operating a vehicle while intoxicated?
These are the findings of a recent AAA study. According to their research, a driver who has had less than 5 hours of sleep has the same risk of getting into a car accident as a drunk driver. And it's even worse for those who only have 1-2 hours in a 24-hour period - their risk is double that of an intoxicated driver.
Drowsy driving is very common, with up to 35% of U.S. drivers sleeping less than 7 hours every night. The AAA warns that driving without enough sleep is a factor in more than 20% of all fatal U.S. crashes.
Many of us drive while sleepy, and admit to struggling to keep our eyes open when driving a motor vehicle. Commercial vehicle operators and those with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea are especially at risk of this dangerous behavior. Incidences of drowsy driving are also common with workers who work long hours or odd shifts such as emergency room staff.
Drowsy Driving Can Be Prevented
Studies show that most Americans are sleep-deprived. Prevent drowsy driving by getting plenty of quality sleep each night - it's important in preventing drowsy driving and also for your overall health. Make it a habit of getting up and going to bed consistently at the same time each day, even on weekends, to build in a healthy sleep-wake rhythm.
Instead of the stimulation of artificial light from a TV, computer or smartphone screen, choose a quiet, relaxing activity like reading or listening to music. Stay away from caffeine and alcoholic beverages just before bedtime.
You can help prevent sleepy driving:
- Never drink and drive! Even one drink will affect your reactions and attention.
- Check the labels on any medication and don't drive if drowsiness is a side effect.
- During a drive, take a break at least every 2 hours. Take a short walk and drink coffee or other caffeinated beverage.
- Share the driving with your passenger.
Don't ever think that you can overcome extreme drowsiness while driving by opening the window or turning up the radio. You need to get out of the car and take a break, or grab a short nap in a safe area.
You may feel that sleepy driving is acceptable due to busy schedules and long hours behind the wheel, but the dangers are all too real.
Contact Us If You Have Been in a Vehicle Accident
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident or by any type of personal injury, please contact the Sevenish Law Firm immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Randall Sevenish, personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-278-9200 or contact us via the website.