Driving Drowsy – More Dangerous Than You Think

March 13th, 2018

Throughout the United States, it is a well known fact that drunk driving is a serious crime which results in serious consequences. However, most people don’t understand that driving drowsy is another major problem throughout the United States that also results in serious consequences. I mean let’s be honest, who hasn’t gotten behind the wheel of their vehicle feeling drowsy? If you have, you are not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adults in the United States have driven while drowsy and about one-third of people have actually fallen asleep at the wheel.

Why Is Driving Drowsy So Dangerous?

The National Sleep Foundation compares driving drowsy with driving while intoxicated. The Foundation notes that being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of .05. Additionally, if you have been up for 24 hours and drive, it’s similar to you having a blood alcohol level of .10. Moreover, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. Therefore, being drowsy can seriously affect your concentration level and reaction time while behind the wheel, and result in serious consequences.

What Can You Do?

  1. Get some sleep. According to the NHTSA, sleep is the only true preventative measure against the risks of drowsy driving. Therefore, you should make it a priority to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Don’t take medications before driving. If you are prescribed a medication that has a drowsy side effect, you should either avoid taking the medication before getting on the road, or utilize public transportation.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol beverages while drowsy can increase your drowsiness and impairment.  
  4. Drink coffee or caffeinated beverages. These beverages may help you feel more awake. Although coffee or an energy drink can help you fight off drowsy symptoms for a short time, this feeling will not last. Additionally, the NHTSA warns that you still have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for 4-5 seconds.
  5. Nap. If you are driving and feel yourself getting drowsy, the easiest and safest thing to do is pull over and nap. Even a 20 minutes nap can increase alertness and help you feel rejuvenated.  

Contact Us

Contact the Bottaro Law Firm to get the best and fairest representation around. Our experienced legal team will fight to get you the best results possible. If you or a loved one has been injured do not hesitate to call or text us at 401-777-7777 or fill out our free online form. Remember, delay can harm your case.