Don’t Drive Drowsy: Falling Asleep While Driving Can Lead To Deadly Consequences

One hour of sleep can make all the difference before going for a drive. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, sleeping only six to seven hours in comparison to eight hours a night can double the chances of getting into a vehicle accident. The lack of sleep can inhibit reaction time, cognitive and motor skills, judgment and memory. Every year, 100,000 police-reported crashes are due to drowsy drivers, and 6,000 of those can result in deadly consequences.

However, driving while sleepy can have similar consequences on your body as driving drunk. Being awake for 17 hours straight has the same effects on your body as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05. With three more hours, the consequences double as your body will begin to behave as though you have a BAC of 0.1.

Scarily enough, nearly 71 percent of all young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 have admitted to driving while sleepy, a dangerous habit that needs to be broken. Although younger drivers make up only a fourth of licensed drivers, they’re responsible for two-thirds of drowsy driving accidents.

A frightening phenomenon called “micro-sleep” is also very common amongst sleepy drivers. Micro-sleep occurs when an individual begins to drift off, but only for a matter of seconds—usually around 20 to 30 seconds at max—without even realizing it. They’ll continue to do what they are doing with their eyes open but their brain will be going to sleep, just as if they are in a hypnotic state of auto-pilot. Imagine waking up to realize you’ve drifted into oncoming traffic!

Driving and sleeping shouldn’t mix, period. Remember to always pull over in a safe area and take a quick nap if you are starting to feel drowsy while on the road. If you’re consistently having trouble staying wake while driving, then a lack of sleep could be to blame. Our team at FusionSleep specializes in finding solutions to improve your quality of sleep and life. Let us help you make your way to better sleep. Call (678) 990-3962 to set up an appointment with one of our certified sleep specialists today.