If you’re driving to work on a Monday morning or heading out on a cross-country road trip, you may experience fatigue behind the wheel. Driving while drowsy may not seem as dangerous as drinking while driving or texting, it’s still a serious cause of accidents and fatalities on the road. In fact, studies have shown that lack of sleep was the cause of over 5000 fatal car crashes in the US in 2005 alone. Here is some more information about driving while drowsy from the team of professional instructors at Ambitious Drivers.
Drowsy Versus Impaired Driving
While there are a number of studies and statistics about the dangers of driving while impaired, the effects of driving while drowsy are not as well known to the general public. One study found that drivers who got behind the wheel with a limited amount of sleep exhibited behaviour on the road that was similar to that of drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. For example, a driver who hasn’t slept properly in the past 24 hours will exhibit the same erratic behaviour on the road as someone with a blood alcohol level of .1 percent, making lack of sleep as dangerous as drinking and driving in some instances.
Who Is At-Risk of Driving While Drowsy?
While everyone is at risk of driving while overtired, there are certain groups that are more likely to be sleep deprived and therefore more vulnerable to getting into an accident on the road including:
- Parents of small infants
- Nightshift workers
- Truck drivers
- Emergency and relief staff such as EMS workers and nurses
- Those with sleep disorders
- Long-distance drivers
If you’re prone to feeling tired behind the wheel, make sure you take extra precautions to keep yourself awake and alert. Drink coffee if you need to, play music, listen to the radio, or bring along a companion for conversation so you stay stimulated while driving. If you’re going on a longer road trip, plan rest stops along the way and rotate drivers so everyone has the chance to relax. If you notice that your focus is start to slip when you’re on the road, pull over as soon as possible to avoid getting into an accident.
At Ambitious Drivers, we instruct new drivers in the safe skills and techniques needed to keep them protected behind the wheel. For more information about our driving courses and to register today, contact us now at Ambitious Drivers.