Most of us are trying to fit a million things into our day, and often what gets sacrificed is our sleep. As a result, most of us have driven drowsy at least once in our lifetime. When it comes to driving drowsy, many don’t realize that lack of sleep can lead to accidents.
You may think that driving drowsy is just a part of life, but we’re going to outline how imperative proper sleep is before getting behind the wheel.
#1 The Amount of Sleep You Need
According to helpguide.org adults (26 – 64 years old) need 7-9 hours of sleep to function properly. Ultimately, without receiving your required sleep, you’re putting yourself at risk of driving drowsy and that could lead to an accident.
#2 How Much Sleep Deprivation Impacts Accidents
Did you know that sleep deprivation is a major factor in many auto accidents? According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drivers who get less than 7 hours of sleep nearly double their chances of getting into an accident. Shockingly, they explain the majority of people sleep 5-6 hours a night, which makes them 1.9 times more likely to have an accident. Furthermore, if you’re someone who receives 4 hours or less, you’re 11.5 times more likely to have a collision.
#3 Working Off Sleep Debt
What is sleep debt? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety explains sleep debt is when you’ve overdone it without the recommended amount of sleep, they continue, “When your sleep debt gets big enough, there is nothing you can do to stay awake.”
#4 Driving Drowsy is Similar to Driving Drunk
Your ability to drive is significantly affected by sleep deprivation. It’s been said 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.
The bottom line is that sleepiness and driving don’t mix - get the sleep you need in order to drive safely behind the wheel.
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