As parents, we try to warn our kids about the dangers associated with driving. We want to keep them safe so we talk to them about texting and driving, drinking and driving, wearing their seatbelt, etc., but one danger we often fail to discuss is drowsy driving. And drowsy driving kills almost as many people as drunk driving. In fact, drivers who have not had enough sleep are at the same risk of being in an accident as a driver who is at or a little above the drunk driving limit of 0.08 BAC. Here is what you need to know and steps you can take to protect yourself and your driving family members:
When you are sleep deprived, clusters of brain neurons actually take a break. This is dangerous because those neurons are the transmitters of messages from your brain to your body. When a large enough group of brain neurons fall asleep or take a break, a driver’s attention can decline. Not to mention the obvious: if you nod off at the wheel, you are not focused on driving at all.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates drowsy drivers are involved in 16.5% of all fatal crashes and 7 percent of all non-fatal crashes. To understand just how dangerous drowsy driving is, consider this: the NHTSA estimates 8,000 people a year are killed due to drowsy driving and drunk driving kills about 10,500 people each year.
Unfortunately, there is no easy test like a breathalyzer that can determine when you are too sleepy to drive. But there are some things you should consider in order to keep your family safe: Continue reading