The statistics speak volumes:
Translation: we don’t walk our talk. People who see drowsy driving as unacceptable have done it themselves.
I couldn’t agree more. Drunk driving is such a strong societal taboo, and yet drowsy driving may arguably be more prevalent—and equally as dangerous. Similar to the effects of alcohol and other drugs, sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment. Add that to an existing sleep disorder and you’re looking at a recipe for very serious disaster and harm to yourself and others. Consider these other stats:
As we enter the holiday season, this latest survey makes for a good reminder. When you add the stress of family gatherings with copious food and beverage—not to mention sugar highs and sleep deprived lows—it’s enough to leave anyone exhausted at the end of the party. Yet we all need to get home somehow. It’s practically human nature to underestimate the negative effects associated with fatigue and sleep deprivation and, conversely, overestimate our abilities to overcome them while driving.
This new data underscores the importance of recognizing the power of sleep deprivation and the perils that can await us when we don’t take measures to police our own habits, as well as our wellbeing. It is really very simple: If you are the least bit sleepy, do not put yourself or others in danger. A designated, sober and well rested driver is something to consider this holiday season.
Michael J. Breus, PhD
The Sleep Doctor™