Didn’t sleep well last night? Don’t drive.
Driving when you are drowsy has been compared to drunk driving – both increase your risk of a crash. Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates as many as 21% of fatal crashes involve driver drowsiness as well as 7% of all crashes and 13% of crashes that result in a hospital stay.
But how drowsy is too drowsy? The AAA Foundation offers 3 questions to help:
- Do you usually sleep for less than 5 hours a day?
- Have you slept less than 7 hours in the past 24?
- Have you slept for 1 hour or more LESS than your usual amount of sleep in the past 24 hours?
If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you are at high risk of a crash due to drowsy driving. Being drowsy at this level is similar to being legally above the alcohol limit. Driving in either case is a danger to yourself and others.
Driving safety isn’t the only way getting more sleep can benefit your health. Getting enough sleep has been linked to better memory, weight control, blood sugar control, mood and more. If you are having difficulty sleeping, talk to your doctor. Sleep problems can sometimes be a symptom of another condition.