It’s safe to say that considering how busy our lives are, most of us have driven drowsy at least once in our lifetime. Here is everything that no one tells you about driving drowsy, including the fact that lack of sleep can lead to auto accidents.
In part one of our three part series on the impact of drowsy driving we discuss some of the major things, people don't realize! Be sure to check out the other two parts of this series: Never Underestimate The Importance Of Sleep + The Top 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Drive When You Are Tired.
How much sleep do we need?
How do we know if we are drowsy? To answer this we consulted helpguide.org to see how much sleep the average adult requires to ensure proper functioning. It turns out that Adults (26 – 64 years old) need 7-9 hours of sleep!
Did you know that sleep deprivation is a major factor in many auto accidents?
According to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who get less than 7 hours of sleep nearly double their chances of being involved in an auto accident. Their research showed that if you have less than 4 hours of sleep, you are 11.5 times more likely to have an auto collision. Most of us would fall into the range of sleeping 5-6 hours per night, which unfortunately puts us at 1.9 times the accident risk.
Driving drowsy is similar to driving drunk…
Your ability to drive is significantly affected by sleep deprivation. One study found that drivers who get less than 5 hours of sleep share the same crash risk as someone who is driving over the legal limit for alcohol.
Are you sleep deprived?
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains the dangers of being sleep deprived and how essential it is we are aware of any “sleep debt” we may have.
Millions of people have a serious sleep debt. They can get this debt in many ways – they work the night shift, hold two jobs, stay up late, work full-time while going to school, or have other scheduling problems… When your sleep debt gets big enough, there is nothing you can do to stay awake. You might be able to remain alert when you’re busy or excited, but as soon as it gets quiet your sleep debt takes over and you go to sleep.