According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents happen approximately every 5 seconds. One of the most common hazards on the roads are drowsy drivers. In fact, some studies have linked drowsy driving to being nearly as dangerous as drunk driving.
With so many drivers on the road, the chances of getting into a motor vehicle accident are high. Drowsy driving is extremely common because so many drivers fail to recognize that it is unsafe to do so.
Understand the Risks
- The NHTSA states in 2019 33,244 car crashes resulted in fatalities for 36,094 people and another 1,916,000 crashes resulted in injuries. There were an additional 4,806,000 motor vehicle crashes resulting in only property damage.
- According to the Sleep Foundation, both drowsy driving and drunk driving slow your reaction time and affect your decision-making ability and alertness.
- Driving after 18 hours without sleep is comparable to driving with 0.05% Blood-Alcohol Concentration (BAC).
- Driving after 24 hours without sleep is closer to 0.1% BAC.
Keys to Keep You Safe
Get enough sleep. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep.
Eat a healthy diet. Ensure you get enough nutrients and water – this will help keep your body running smoothly.
Consult your doctor if you have excessive fatigue. This could be a symptom of an underlying health issue.
Never drink and drive. Always have a plan to get home before you begin drinking alcohol.
Understand the effects of any medication you take. Many medications cause drowsiness.
Pull over if needed. Pulling off the road to take a short nap when you feel too tired to drive may save your life or someone else’s.
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