“Don’t drink and drive.” It’s an unavoidable message, drilled into our children’s heads in school, blasted on the television during the evenings and lighting up street signs on nights and weekends. Most people understand the inherent dangers of drinking and driving. Alcohol reduces alertness, reaction time and focus, among other things, making the drunk driver a dangerous force on the road. But many people don’t realize that drowsy driving can be dangerous as well. For years, experts have been stressing that Americans need to be more careful about driving while tired.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has reported that even a small amount of sleep deprivation can dramatically increase a person’s chance of serious injury or death. Even driving on five or six hours of sleep, which is normal for many people, can double your chances of getting into a car accident compared to driving on seven hours of sleep. One hour can make a huge different.
Drivers who get less sleep are in even more danger. If a driver has had four hours or less of sleep, that driver is four times more likely to get into an accident, which is roughly equivalent to the increase in risk from drunk driving.
To prevent yourself from being exposed to this elevated risk of accidents, make sleep more of a priority in your life. Go to bed earlier and for a few hours prior to sleep, stay away from bright screens. If you need to make a long trip in your car, alternate driving with another person or make sure you take time to rest every few hours.
If you are injured in an accident involving a drowsy driver in Louisiana, we can help.