Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous or even more dangerous than drunk driving.
1.2 million accidents are caused annually by sleeplessness. While watching this video, there will be several accidents in the United States caused by drowsy or sleep deprived drivers.
An immediate side effect of not getting enough sleep is a lack of concentration. Not being able to pay attention because of not getting enough sleep can be dangerous when a sleepy driver gets behind the wheel.
Drowsy drivers can cause accidents when they fall asleep behind the wheel or when they experience a momentary lack of concentration called microsleep. These last for just a few seconds during which time the eyelid will either partially or fully close.
During a microsleep, your brain becomes blind to the outside world for a brief moment. You may experience microsleep and not even realize it.
You don’t have to be sound asleep behind the wheel to cause a serious accident, a brief moment of inattention caused by a lack of sleep and concentration can be deadly! Unlike drink drivers who are late in braking or making evasive maneuvers, when you fall asleep, you stop reacting altogether.
How long can someone go without sleep before their ability to adequately function is impaired?
Did you know that after 16 hours of being awake the brain begins to fail? We need more than seven hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive performance.
Some research has shown that ten days of six hours of sleep at night is all that it takes to be impaired the same as someone that has gone 24 hours without sleep!
One study showed that sleep deprived people, deprived of sleep for 19 hours were as cognitively impaired as other drivers that were legally drunk with a .08 percent blood alcohol content.
Operating on less than 5 hours of sleep, your risk of a car crash increases by three times.
If you drive with just four hours of sleep or less the night before you are 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.
What about drowsy drunk driving? Consider this: Most individuals are driving drunk in the early morning hours rather than in the middle of the day, meaning that most drunk drivers are also sleep deprived.
Truck drivers are at a greater risk of having a condition called sleep apnea, a condition which causes chronic, severe sleep deprivation.
That puts truck drivers at 200 to 500 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident as compared to a non commercial vehicle.
Drowsy driving injuries and deaths are 100% preventable.
Sleep is important to all aspects of your life, especially your ability to maintain concentration. If you don’t get enough sleep, don’t get behind the wheel. Say no to drowsy driving!
For more information on the importance of sleep, and more sleep related facts check out Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD