Dangers of Sleep Deprivation and Driving

Niles Schambers is here to bring you fresh content.Including but not limited to Technology, Driver well-being, management and life hacks. Niles is the Marketing Manager at Auto Carrier Software. He has a passion for content creation, blogging and helping others..


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Yes, one of those was my car

Earlier this year, I fell victim to a sleepy driver. They had just flown in from out of the country and were driving home from Los Angeles International Airport. While I was sitting at a red light, they cut across five lanes and hit me head on going roughly 60 mph. So I urge you, please DO NOT DRIVE WHILE YOU ARE TIRED!

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

Obviously we all know that sleep is important, but do we get enough? When you are doing a long haul cross country do you honestly allow yourself enough down time? We have all been told to get7-8 hours of sleep every night, but what if other things are holding you back from getting that sleep. Your job requires you to drive for long hours and sure, there are regulations to prevent you from driving for too long. That doesn’t mean it is impossible for it to happen to you, though.

Falling asleep while driving is clearly dangerous, but even if you don’t fall asleep there are other inherent dangers of DWT (Driving While Tired yes, I just made that up)

  • Less attentive, more laid back driving
  • Significantly slower reaction time
  • Inability to make decisions / impaired judgement

How big of a problem is this really?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes involve drowsy driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, these estimates are probably really low, and up to 5,000 to 6,000 fatal crashes happen each year. All of which are caused by tired drivers.

Who’s inclined to drive drowsy?

  • Commercial drivers
  • Shift Workers (Swing / Graveyard)
  • Drivers who simply don’t get enough sleep
  • Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
  • Drivers on a long road trip
  • Drivers who use sedatives or drink alcohol (Come on, you shouldn’t be driving if you do this anyway)

5 Signs it is time to pull over

  • You start to swerve
  • You hit the rumble strip
  • Other drivers are honking at you
  • You can’t keep your eyes open
  • You can’t remember the last couple miles of driving
  • You are asleep (just joking about this one)
  • Just remember if any of these things happen to you while driving, it may be time to pull over and get some rest. 

Remember: Get Rest or you may R.I.P.