Hands on the wheel (dangers of driving drowsy)

By Jason Williams
November 12, 2013


Sleep is essential to our everyday life. According to sleepfoundation.org, people need on average a total of 7-9 hours of sleep. Without the required amount of sleep, there are many risks we face such as an  increase in BMI (Body Mass Index), an increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, decreased ability to pay attention and increased risk to a motor vehicle accident, also according to the sleepfoundation.org. Let’s be honest, we all have done things drowsy whether it be work, going to school or practices. We have all done something where we just felt like being in bed or where we are constantly yawning. It may not seem that big of a deal doing things while tired, but try driving a 4,000 pound machine while constantly yawning, with heavy eye lids and just wanting to be in  bed. Can you say dangerous? Studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that driving while drowsy is the cause of more than 100,000 crashes, resulting in 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injures annually.

More than 54 percent of adult drivers say that they have driven while drowsy, while 28% said they have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Driving while drowsy is just as bad as driving under the influence. While operating a motor vehicle, driving under the influence and driving while drowsy both impair your judgment, impair coordination, and can cause reaction time lags. One may wonder if driving while drowsy is just as bad as driving under the influence and why people aren’t  ticketed for it.  The government has made attempts to correct drowsy driving by adding rumble stripes which,  make noise when a driver wanders out of their lane. All attempts had little to no effect, so how can you stop drowsy driving? In simple terms, you can’t stop people from driving drowsy, just like you can’t stop people from trying to drive under the influence. Driving while drowsy is not only a danger to the driver but to the drivers around them. Let’s be honest we all know that we don’t always get seven hours of sleep each night and we know things like coffee, energy boosters and vitamins don’t always do the trick. So how can people avoid drowsy driving? Drivers can avoid drowsy driving by simply getting their proper rest whether it be our seven to nine required hours of sleep or a nap during the day.

Drivers have to realize that once you are behind the wheel of the car, you’re not only responsible for your safety, but for the safety of the drivers around you as well. Drowsy drivers are usually in denial about their sleepiness, like drunk drivers are when they are too intoxicated, and this is due to the lack of judgment according to National Sleep Foundation. I am a non-driver, but I have experienced car rides with drowsy drivers and I have a friend who fell asleep behind the wheel of a car and ended up in the hospital with multiple injures. I believe that drowsy drivers should be ticketed and fined like drunk drivers for erratic driving and bad judgment, as are drivers under the influence. So if you ask me if drowsy driving is dangerous, I will tell you that without a doubt yes; it’s just as dangerous as driving under the influence.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jason Williams

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap