How many times have you gotten behind the wheel of your car after a horrible night’s sleep or no sleep at all? You may not even think twice about it other than needing an extra cup of coffee. However, that may not be enough to keep you safe on the road.
In fact, the prevailing research likens drowsy driving to drunk driving. This is not an exaggeration. Your ability to drive safely is severely affected by fatigue. If you don’t believe it, reviewing the information below may change your mind.
How tired do you have to be to be impaired?
To put the information into context, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration here in Florida is .08. At that BAC level, most drivers suffer from:
- Impaired judgment
- Diminished self-control
- Impaired reasoning
- Poor muscle control
- Impaired perception
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Reduced ability to control the speed of the vehicle
Now, let’s look at how drowsy driving compares to drunk driving. If you remain awake for just 18 hours, your ability to drive is the same as if your BAC was .05. By the time you reach 24 hours without sleep, that comparison rises to a BAC of .10. Surprised? You are not alone.
Many people do not realize how hazardous drowsy driving can be. Sadly, not getting enough sleep makes car, truck and SUV drivers just as dangerous as drunk drivers.
When to avoid drowsy drivers on the road
You may never know whether the driver in the vehicle next to you is very tired. However, nationwide research shows that drowsy driving accidents are most likely to happen between midnight and 6:00 a.m. and late afternoons.
Car crash victims have rights. After seeking medical treatment for your injuries, learn about the other driver’s legal obligations.