We all learn the risks of drunk driving, either while in training with an instructor or simply by watching the news. It’s illegal for a reason. Drunk drivers may think that they can drive safely enough, but the truth is that they cause a lot of accidents and it leads to unnecessary injuries and fatalities.
But is driving when you’re too tired just as dangerous? Are you basically taking the same risks?
The experts at The Sleep Foundation argue that that’s exactly what you’re doing. Drowsy driving is something many people do and most don’t think twice about it, but it can also cause car accidents. Reaction times get worse, people make avoidable errors and some drivers even fall asleep at the wheel.
To directly compare the two, experts determined that staying awake for 18 hours in a row and then attempting to drive means that you essentially have a BAC of 0.05%. For most drivers, the legal limit is 0.08%. And 18 hours isn’t really that long. This is something that many college students do while studying for tests and that professionals do when working long hours in the office.
To take it a step further, if a person stayed awake all day long — for the entire 24 hours — the effect gets so bad that they act like their BAC is at 0.10%. That’s over the legal limit. They’re not drunk at all, but they still act like it behind the wheel.
It’s clear that drowsy driving is dangerous, and those who get injured in accidents may be able to seek compensation.