Have you ever had that moment in the car when you just couldn’t keep your eyes focused and you felt yourself drifting off the road? That’s drowsy driving and it is basically the same as drunk driving but without being illegal, although just as dangerous. Most people don’t comprehend that drowsy driving is simply unsafe. If you have to turn the music up, roll the windows down, and drink a gallon of coffee to keep your eyes open – pull over and take a nap.
1 in 24 adults admit to driving while drowsy. The average adult admits to only getting 6 hours of sleep each night when we know that we need at least 8 hours to fully function. According to the CDC, an American dies every 15 minutes as a result of a fatal car crash and in just one year, the cost to our economy is over $99 Billion. In terms of life and treasure – we cannot afford to ignore the costs of poor driving – including driving while drowsy.
Drowsy driving does not get as much attention as driving while under the influence of a substance or an impaired condition, but it should. It is a well-known fact that our nation is deprived of sleep and places more value on saving time than staying safe. This sleep-deprivation can impact our ability to be focused and alert drivers. Just one unfocused moment can mean the difference between making a meeting on time and not making it all. Aim to arrive alive.
One major factor in drowsy driving may be the use of sleep aids. Try performing a search on You Tube for any popular sleep aid to see that the side effects may involve a sort of amnesia when not fully out of a person's system or may cause a person to doze off while driving or performing tasks which can lead to injury and death. In fact, the FDA is making a recommendation on dosage changes for sleep aids used by millions of Americans.
The bottom line…if you are sleepy, stay safe and stay home. Do not hit the road!
Here are some additional sources and reference guides for drowsy driving:
Do you have experiences with drowsy driving? Do you have additional resources we could share with others? We would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below.