While law enforcement cannot test for drowsiness like it can for alcohol level, it is still something they can and do note it on accident reports. Drowsy driving is driving when you are tired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that drowsy driving is a dangerous practice that most people do not understand the impact of. Many studies show that driving while tired is comparable to driving while under the influence of alcohol.
When you are sleepy, you lack coordination and mental clarity. This puts you at risk of not reacting properly or being able to react to what is happening on the roadway. In addition, there is always the chance that you will fall into a deep sleep, rendering you unable to drive at all. You should know if you are at risk of drowsy driving to protect yourself and others.
The main risk factor for drowsy driving is not getting enough sleep and lacking quality sleep. Most people need six to eight hours of sleep per night. If you are not getting this, then you are at risk of driving when too tired.
Sleep quality is about uninterrupted and deep sleep. If you do not fall into a deep sleep and sleep throughout the night, then you are also at risk for drowsy driving.
People at high risk
You may be a higher risk for this problem if you work third shift and have to sleep during the day. Another situation that would put you at risk includes being a new parent and having to wake up periodically with your newborn. Having a sleep disorder or taking medications with drowsiness as a side effect are also things that make it more likely you will drive when too tired.