Is drowsy driving as bad as driving under the influence?

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2023 | Personal Injury

Busy lives often lead to sacrifices to fit in all that needs to happen in a day, and while sleep is something the body desperately needs, it often is not a priority. When the brain does not get ample time to recharge regularly, it will not perform the way it should.

Since the brain is the master computer for the body, this drowsiness can seep into every facet of life. One potentially catastrophic consequence of a sleepy brain is a car crash, especially given that a sleepy brain performs like a brain under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

How is an exhausted brain like one under the influence?

According to the Sleep Foundation, a person who stays awake for 17 hours without sleep and then drives has a brain performance similar to someone with a .05 BAC. For those who need to stay up and work 24-hour shifts, this doubles to .10.

The sleep-deprived brain and those under the influence of alcohol exhibit some of the same signs. Reaction time slows, and people without enough sleep are likely to make impulsive decisions on the road. The brain will also shut off for periods of time, causing the driver to zone out and nod off along the way.

What can help a drowsy driver?

Prioritizing sleep can improve many aspects of life, including safety behind the wheel. However, for those who work off shifts or those who cannot sleep the recommended eight to 10 hours a night, taking a short nap before driving can improve reaction time and attentiveness.

Keeping everyone safe on the roads requires the brain to act and react properly; thus, getting proper sleep can decrease the chance of a car crash.