Drowsy driving is a serious offense that can lead to traffic accidents. It is the unfortunate truth that many people are behind the wheels of their vehicles when they haven’t had enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can make you just as dangerous as a drunk driver. You may have impaired reaction times, make poor decisions or have trouble processing information.

According to the National sleep Foundation, fatigue and sleepiness decrease your performance behind the wheel and in all other aspects of your life.

Getting the right rest can save lives

Getting the right rest before you drive can save lives. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep depending on age, health and other factors. On the whole, drivers should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep before they decide to drive.

Who is most likely to drive drowsy?

The people who are most likely to drive drowsy include:

  • Anyone who isn’t getting enough sleep
  • Commercial drivers who drive buses, tractor-trailers or tow trucks
  • Drivers who take medications that can cause drowsiness
  • Drivers with sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea
  • Shift workers

Are there things you can do to prevent drowsy driving?

Absolutely. You can prevent drowsy driving by:

  • Getting at least seven hours of sleep each day as an adult. Teens and young adults may need eight hours or more
  • Avoiding alcohol or medications that make you tired if you plan to drive
  • Staying on a sleep schedule
  • Having any sleep disorder treated

Drowsy driving is completely preventable. Get enough sleep, avoid medications that make you drowsy and pull over if you feel tired. Doing so could help save a life.