Drowsy Driving same as Drunk Driving
Drunk driving and drowsy driving are equally dangerous, a new study finds. The study, released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA), indicates that drowsy driving – defined as driving with fewer than five hours of sleep – has a crash risk comparable to a drunk driver with a blood alcohol content at or higher than the legal limit.
The study also revealed that sleep deprivation increases accident risk. According to the study, those who sleep 1 to 2 hours less than the standard recommended 7-hour sleep stretch double the chances of being involved in car accidents. It’s no surprise that our Austin Car Accident Attorneys are seeing more and more cases of drowsy driving accidents.
The finding of AAA’s study are surprising to some because many people do not think drowsy driving is dangerous. However, according to Doug Shupe, an AAA Texas spokesperson, “It is just as dangerous as distracted driving and drunk driving.”
Physicians appear to agree with the report, saying that an individual cannot go without enough sleep and then expect to be a safe driver. The frightening part of drowsy driving is there are usually no warning signs/symptoms before a driver drifts off while behind the wheel.
AAA advises drivers to try and get the recommenced amount of sleep. If you’re unable to do that, then AAA asks you to schedule breaks during long trips, avoid medications that make you drowsy, and avoid large meals before taking the wheel. It is important to evaluate your condition before you start driving. If you are drowsy before you get behind the wheel, you’re going to be drowsy behind the wheel.
According to the Center for Disease control, warning signs you should look for while your driving include:
- Frequent yawning or eye blinking;
- Drifting between lanes;
- Difficulty remembering the last few minutes or miles driven;
- Missing exits; and
- Driving over rumble sticks on the side of the road or center lane dividers.