Sleep deprivation is often discussed humorously or even as a badge of honor for people living busy lifestyles. But getting too little sleep isn’t just hazardous for your health, it’s also extremely dangerous when you get behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one-in-three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, which is at least seven hours per night.
When people are sleep deprived and get behind the wheel of a car, they face risks that they otherwise wouldn’t, including:
- Being less able to pay attention to the road: Sleep-deprived drivers can’t identify and track other vehicles as quickly and accurately as well-rested drivers.
- Having slower reaction times: Sleep-deprived drivers take longer to brake, accelerate, or make a steering adjustment to avoid collisions.
- Being less capable of making good decisions: Sleep-deprived drivers struggle to make good decisions and judgment calls while driving, which can put them, their passengers, and others at risk.
The effects of sleep deprivation on drivers are similar to the effects of alcohol. When sleep deprivation is severe, the effects can be similar to extreme intoxication, including the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. Drivers who nod off, even momentarily, face an extremely high risk of being involved in a crash that could seriously injure or even kill them, their passengers, and other motorists.
If you drive while sleepy on a regular basis, make it a point to improve your sleep, whether it’s going to bed earlier, eliminating nighttime distractions, or improving your overall health. And if you’re injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, know that the Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law are here to help. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.