The reality is that most of us are sleep-deprived
If youre like most people, you could probably use a bit more shut-eye at night. The reality is that most of us are sleep-deprived. The demands of work, family, and other responsibilities mean that few Americans get adequate rest.
Although running low on sleep is common, new research shows that its also extremely dangerous especially behind the wheel. In fact, studies reveal that driving drowsy is comparable to driving drunk.
National Sleep Foundation Says Drowsy Driving Is Just as Dangerous as Driving Drunk
The National Sleep Foundation says that driving on too few Zs is just like getting behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) thats over the legal limit.
Research shows that driving after being awake for 18 hours straight is like driving with a BAC of .05 percent. And if you push it for 24 hours or more and then drive, the effects are comparable to a BAC of .10 percent. For reference, the legal limit for intoxication is .08 percent.
So why would anyone do this People simply dont view drowsy driving as being as perilous as driving drunk. Public awareness campaigns focus on intoxicated drivers. You dont see the same messages about driving when youre overly tired.
Tips for Staying Safe (and Awake) Behind the Wheel
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are ways to avoid being involved in a drowsy driving auto accident.
- Get Enough Rest This may sound obvious, but its important to get adequate rest before you drive. You might think youre gaining valuable time by skipping sleep, but science shows that youre less productive and more prone to make mistakes when you skimp on rest. Adults between 26 and 64 years of age need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
- Use Caffeine in Moderation Caffeinated drinks like coffee can give you a short-term boost, but be careful about becoming dependent on them. Its better to get enough sleep than to depend on a coffee kick to keep you alert during your daily commute.
- Start a Regular Bedtime Routine Plagued by insomnia Sleep experts say that what works for babies and young children works for adults, too. That is, start a nighttime routine that prepares your body for sleep. Take a relaxing bath or shower, play soothing music, or do light stretching or yoga at the same time each night. Eventually, these calming activities will signal your brain that its time to hit the hay.
- Take a Power Nap If you find yourself nodding off behind the wheel, pull over and take a short nap. Sleep researchers say that even 20 minutes can be restorative. Just make sure you park in a safe area, so you can sleep soundly until youve recovered enough to continue driving.?
An Auto Accident Lawyer Discusses Drowsy Driving Accidents
Philadelphia auto accident lawyer Joel J. Kofsky states, Car accident lawyers know how devastating drowsy driving accidents can be. The motorists who cause these accidents must live the rest of their lives knowing that a seconds mistake led to a serious or fatal accident. Victims and their families must deal with the aftermath for a lifetime. Before you get in the car, make sure youre alert enough to drive. If you feel tired, pull over and find a safe spot to nap.
If you have been injured by a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel, you have important rights. Protect your right to receive compensation for your injuries by speaking to an experienced Philadelphia auto accident lawyer today.