Sleepy all the time
Before grabbing those car keys ask yourself whether you have had enough sleep. It might seem like the last thing on anyone’s mind when they are heading out of their homes, but it could be a life or death questions.
Driver fatigue is a nasty little thing and results in over 100,000 car crashes every year. Think of it this way: would you drive if you were drunk? Well, it seems like there is little difference between driving when you are drunk and driving when you’re sleep deprived or you are feeling sleepy all the time while driving.
While it was thought to be a problem before, science is now putting it’s foot down and confirming that a drowsy driver is bad news. A scientific consensus had set a minimum limit for the amount of sleep you should have had if you want to think about driving.
Many scientists have joined hands with the National Sleep Foundation to outline that people who have not had at least two hours of sleep in the last 24 hours are not fit to drive any sort of vehicle.
It’s true that not all people follow the same kind of schedules and there will be some people who are reading this and snorting while lovingly hugging it out with their cup of joe, the good people who are figuring out all the science related to driver fatigue thinks that your brain is lying to you.
True individual sleep needs can never be the same, but people who have not slept at least two hours are not going to be alert enough to be able to drive properly. Charles A. Czeisler, who is a Harvard professor and sleep expert agrees when he says “While individual sleep needs vary, and stimulants, like caffeine, may trick sleep-deprived people into feeling alert, the reality is that people are definitely impaired when they have obtained two hours of sleep or less per day.”
Czeisler and his team are hoping that the two hour threshold will serve as a guideline for not just the public, but also the policy makers that are responsible for ensuring the safety of their citizens.
And while this study says that you should not drive if you have had two hours or less of sleep, it is also true that two hours are by no margin adequate. Another research has shown that people that get magical eight hours of sleep have a much smaller risk of suffering from a crash than people who had fewer than five hours of sleep. The study includes even people that sleep for six or seven hours at night, and that should tell you something.
Drowsy driving doesn’t just put you at risk, it puts a whole bunch of other people (some that you may not see while you’re getting some shut eye at the wheel) at risk. So if you are too tired to drive just hand over the keys to someone else, or get some rest before you do hit the road.
Don’t become a statistic, because drowsy driving doesn’t boast any appealing one with 71,000 injuries a year, 1,550 deaths a year and 100,000 accidents.