We all know of the repercussions of drunk driving; however, most people are unfamiliar with the consequences of driving when they are sleep-deprived. Having a good night’s sleep for at least seven to eight hours is essential for the human body to function properly. A constant lack of sleep can slow down your operational activities, making you drowsy and tired all day long.
As a result, when you get behind the wheel, your mental activity is severely limited and you can’t concentrate as well as you normally would be able to. This almost mimics your reflexes and sense of timing when you’re drunk. Your senses are numb and you can’t seem to concentrate on the road, which eventually leads to fatal accidents and unfortunate mishaps.
Cognitive impairment is the dysfunctional ability in which the brain has a hard time concentrating on the simplest of tasks and working its way through the day. When you are preoccupied and less alert, you tend to lose your sense of judgment, which ultimately affects your reactive time while you are driving a four-wheeler. Cognitive impairment can lead to unfortunate incidents.
Prevent Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving has possible outcomes that can be fatal for the driver. It is essential to stay wide awake while you are on the road.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in which it was concluded that every one in five accidents happens because of drowsy driving. These accidents involve huge losses and tragic consequences, due to which every driver is urged to stay wide awake.
Signs of Drowsiness
The following are the signs of drowsiness:
- You are having trouble remembering your journey, the last turn you took, or the miles you have covered, it means that your brain activity is very low.
- Need to turn left, but you turned right absent-mindedly, you need to pull over right away.
- If you are frequently yawning every couple of minutes, you might get distracted while driving.
- An extremely tired body can make you do the thing you have no control over. It might affect your ability to make decisions. If you find yourself hitting rumble strips placed on the roadside, immediately pull over.
- Losing control over the wheel and almost crashing into another driver is a clear sign of drowsy driving. Pulling over immediately is your safest option.
How to Stay Awake While Driving?
Getting an ample amount of sleep every day goes without saying. However, if you haven’t had the chance to sleep the night before you are about to drive, you should avoid taking the wheel altogether. Whenever you feel lazy, eyes drooping low, a faint buzz in your head, and other signs of drowsiness, ask someone else to drive you to work. Do not risk yourself or others.
On the other hand, if you are on the road and feel the sign of drowsiness, you need to immediately pull your car over to a safe location. Don’t continue down the road. Call someone, share your location, and ask them to come to get you.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is the same as drunk driving. If not more, it has the same effects. You are not only risking yourself but also others on road. Statistics show that in 2014, 846 fatal crashes were recorded as a result of drowsy driving.
Moreover, 6,000 accidents happen every year as a result of drowsy driving. These numbers suggest that the consequences of drowsy driving are severe. Therefore, every driver should take ample rest before getting behind the wheels.
Drowsy Driving Can Be As Dangerous As Drunk Driving
Drowsy Driving has, more or less, similar effects as drunk driving. Nodding off behind the wheel is the same as passing out. Once you lose control of the vehicle, you are likely to meet with an accident and sustain fatal injuries.
- Just as a drunk body is unable to concentrate on the task at hand and lose its senses, a sleep-deprived body tends to react in the same way.
- Like a drunk body has trouble making decisions and passing fair judgments, a sleep-deprived body tends to react in the same way.
- A drunk body tends to drive aggressively, a sleep-deprived body tends to do the same.
Blood Content of a Sleep Deprived Person.
If you haven’t slept for about 18 hours, your body tends to have a blood content of 0.05%, which is close to the legal limit set around the world. On the other hand, if you haven’t slept for an entire day, i.e. 24 hours, your blood content tends to rise to 0.10%, which is higher than the legal limit. Therefore, getting a good night’s sleep is of utmost importance, especially if you have to drive the next day. Otherwise, the consequences are going to be as worse as that of drunk driving.
Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Not only physically but also on the legal front. If you are involved in an accident where you have hit another vehicle, you will have to pay the penalty according to the damage done. For that, you need to have a lawyer that can negotiate the terms and get you through the process.
On the other hand, if you are a victim of a drowsy driving accident, you can sue the driver who has hit you and demand your damage.