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How Driving While Drowsy Can Lead to Disaster

March 20, 2018

Living and working in the Clearwater area, you are probably no stranger to operating your vehicle while sleepy. Many people suffer from sleep-deprivation. Work schedules, lifestyles and obligations often mean less time for sleep and more hours awake.

Perhaps you drink coffee or other energy drinks before getting in the driver’s seat to cope with your drowsiness. This can provide temporary relief, but your body needs more than caffeinated beverages to cope with lack of sleep.

Are You Impaired?

Have you ever stopped to think about how you feel when you are drowsy? You might experience excessive blinking, yawning, an inability to concentrate and slower reactions and thought processes. These actions can impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle responsibly and safely. In fact, the symptoms of drowsiness mirror those of drunkenness. If it has been 18 hours since you rolled out of bed, you and a person with a 0.05 percent BAC have the same level of impairment. At 21 hours, you might as well be legally drunk, according to your physical and mental condition. The effects of alcohol on brain function have been well documented.

Driving drowsy is dangerous, and one of the worst risks is falling asleep at the wheel. There is the chance that your actions might injure and kill others, and you could find yourself facing criminal charges, as well. You might not ever wake up after crashing your vehicle.

Can You Prevent a Crash?

The consequences of drowsy driving are not worth the risk, but it is not always easy to stay awake, especially if your commute is long. If you become drowsy while operating your vehicle, pull over to a safe spot and take a nap or take a short walk to make yourself more alert. Finding an alternative form of transportation may be difficult, but if possible, find someone to share your commute with, or try to adjust your schedule to allow for another hour or two of sleep.