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How does drowsy driving compare to drunk driving?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2021 | Car Accidents |

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2021 | Car Accidents

Most people take drunk driving seriously but don’t realize that drowsy driving is just as bad. You should get plenty of sleep before driving and avoid driving when you feel drowsy in Oklahoma or any other state.

Thousands of fatalities

Experts estimate that drowsy driving auto accidents are higher than the stats show because many people don’t want to admit they felt sleepy when they decided to drive. With this taken into consideration, an estimated 6,000 fatalities occur each year because of drowsy driving.

In comparison, alcohol causes nearly 10,000 car accident fatalities each year. Detecting alcohol as the cause is easier than drowsy driving because the drug is in your system. It’s not as easy to prove that you were feeling drowsy while driving.

Similar negative effects

Alcohol and drowsy driving both impair your reaction time, judgment, attention, coordination and decision-making skills. Drowsy driving also comes with the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Even if you nod off for only one second, that’s long enough to crash, and it could be a fatal wreck.

18 hours without sleep

Going 18 hours without sleep is the equivalent of a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. Add just two more hours of no sleep, and you’re at the blood alcohol content equivalent of 0.08%. The law labels a drinker as intoxicated at 0.08%. When you go 24 hours without sleep, the impact on your body is comparable to 0.1% blood alcohol content. An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that driving on six to seven hours of sleep doubled a person’s risk of getting into an auto accident. People who slept less than five hours had their risk of a car accident doubled again.

Whether you live in a highly-populated or a lowly populated city, drowsy driving is dangerous. You should allow yourself the recommended eight hours of sleep every night and do what you can to stay alert while driving.