Driving a vehicle while under any kind of impairment is dangerous and unadvisable. Cars and trucks are heavy and fast and capable of doing a lot of damage to people and property. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is irresponsible and against the law, but fortunately drinking-related fatalities are decreasing. Education programs and incarceration are having an effect, and people are getting the message. However, there is no law against driving a car when tired, and it happens every day across the country. The dangers of driving while drowsy are as real as the dangers of driving drunk. Read about some of them and avoid a life-changing accident.
According to the National Safety Council, there are some similarities between driving drunk and driving drowsy. They impair the body in similar ways and limit our ability to function properly and avoid accidents. The more tired the driver is, the worse their reaction time will be, and their awareness of hazards is diminished.
- Driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is the same as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, the US legal limit.
- You’re three times more likely to get in a car crash if fatigued.
- Half of adult drivers admit to driving while drowsy.
- 20 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in the last year.
How You Can Prevent Drowsy Driving
Car manufacturers are adding technology that helps keep drivers awake. Crash avoidance technology will slow and stop the car if the driver doesn’t respond in time. The technology also recognizes driving patterns and warns the driver if the vehicle gets too close to the lines on the road. Getting more sleep at night will help keep you alert too. If you have trouble sleeping, get some more exercise or consult your doctor to find if there are other problems contributing to it. If you find yourself falling asleep and can’t keep your eyes open, then pull over to a rest stop and catch a nap for an hour then continue on. Don’t put your life or anyone else’s in danger trying to get somewhere.
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