A sleep deprivation car accident is a dangerous growing threat on the highways. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report shows 5,000 deaths last year were because of drowsy drivers. Every day there are over 80 million sleep-deprived Americans driving on our roads. According to GHSA’s Jonathan Adkins, ‘We’re not just drowsy. We’re literally falling asleep, comatose, behind the wheel and we’re crashing and we’re hurting ourselves and killing ourselves and others. … It’s a serious safety problem.’
Sleep deprived drivers are just as dangerous as driving under the influence. If you have been awake over 18 hours and are driving long-distance, it is similar to having a blood alcohol level of between .05 and .08. The longer you drive; it only goes up from there.
Sleep Deprivation Car Accident
Sleep experts say that less than 6 hours of sleep at night can put your driving at risk. Kendrick Hooks, used to work the night shift until he had two car accidents after falling asleep. Now he helps educate people at the St. Francis Sleep Center. ‘If you don’t get the appropriate sleep at night, your body will find a place to get that sleep, and normally it’s when you’re in a dormant type of state. You know when you drive you’re relaxed and you’re focused on the road, so your body will find times like that to put you to sleep’ stated Hooks.
Five Sleep deprived symptoms include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Sleep Apnea
- Inability to go and stay asleep
A new report out today called “WAKE UP CALL!” is out today. It is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind report, made possible through funding from State Farm®, and examines the cause and effect of drowsy driving as well as how states and others can best address it. The report discusses legislative, enforcement, education, and engineering countermeasures being employed as well as in-vehicle technologies that are available today or on the horizon.
If you are sleep deprived, do not drive. If you grow tired while you are driving, put down your window, turn up your music or even get off the road and take a break.