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Sleep deprived drivers just as dangerous as drunk motorists

Many people in the Atlanta area are aware of how dangerous drunk drivers can be. However, many of them might not realize that drowsy drivers are just as treacherous. According to U.S. News & World Report, fatigue is linked to 20 percent of fatal car accidents. The number of motor vehicle collisions that cause injuries and property damage is much higher. 

The average person requires seven to eight hours of sleep to feel completely refreshed. Some individuals do not sleep that long. It is not uncommon for drivers to sleep six hours or less within a 24-hour period before driving. 

When motorists lack sleep, they are less able to drive safely and responsibly. Their reactions are slower and actions and judgments are impaired. “Sleep-deprived drivers who have had fewer than five hours of sleep are just as dangerous as alcohol-impaired motorists,” states The risk of crashes increases with the number of hours of missed sleep. Also, the longer the commute, the greater the chance of collision. 

Drowsy driving accidents do not happen randomly. Sleepy drivers often exhibit similar driving behaviors as drunken motorists. They wander in their lanes, miss traffic signs and signals, drive too slowly and tailgate. Additionally, they yawn and blink more than usual, have trouble focusing on the road, are more likely to become distracted and may lose consciousness. 

Drivers should familiarize themselves with the dangers of drowsy driving. They should also change their routine to allow for more rest, take breaks when driving, maintain a healthy lifestyle and use public transportation and rideshare services to help them better combat the effects of drowsy driving.

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