Drowsy driving can increase risk: How to mitigate it

March 27th, 2014 by admin

Have you ever been in a situation where you are out at a friend's house or a social event really late, and as you start your drive home your eyelids get heavier, your body starts to slow down and you just want to get to your house so you can go to bed? Chances are you have, particularly if you have had to travel a long distance in these conditions.

Sometimes people feel driving tired is necessary because they just want to get home so they can sleep in their own beds. They justify it because they are only tired and aren't impaired by drugs or alcohol, meaning it's not dangerous to drive in this condition. However, that's not true. It's important to know the risks associated with driving tired, as they can help you improve the safety of everyone else on the road.

The New York State Association of Traffic Safety Boards released a list of facts pertaining to tired drivers that all motorists should be mindful of. Here are two of the more important ones to remember.

  • Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – Just because you're sober doesn't mean you are safe. If your eyes get heavy and your thinking becomes impaired, you aren't very different than someone who has had too much to drink.
  • Young drivers are four times more likely to have a sleep-related crash than drivers over the age of 30 – This makes sense when you think about the differences between young and older drivers. Young drivers, particularly those of college age, tend to sleep less and are thus more tired to begin with. They stay out later than those over 30, which puts them at a greater risk when getting home.

Understanding these facts can help you make better decisions behind the wheel when you are tired and allow to to alleviate road safety risks.