Most road users will say a solid “no” to driving after having a drink, but not all of us will refuse to drive when feeling tired or even just drowsy. However, studies have shown that driving tired can be just as dangerous.
According to the Sleep Foundation, being awake for 18 hours straight will have the same effects on your driving ability as having a blood alcohol level of .05.
Drivers who are tired struggle to concentrate, have slower reaction times and of course, can fall asleep and lose control of the vehicle, resulting in a crash.
Interestingly, aside from tiredness, driving while using a phone has a similar effect.
Nine out of 10 drivers admit to checking their phones while driving, even though this makes them 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash, reports Times Live.
“If compared to drunk driving, the Transport Research Laboratory in the UK says writing a text message slows reaction times by 35%, whereas the reaction time of a driver whose blood alcohol concentration is at the legal limit is slowed by 12%,” Eugene Herbert, MD of the MasterDrive driver-training company.
If you find yourself feeling tired when having to drive, follow the same procedures you would when having a drink. Rather call someone who would be able to drive you or order an e-hailing service. Try to avoid sleep depravation when planning to drive and pull over regularly at a safe spot to rest, get refreshments and stretch your legs along the way. Oh, and drop the phone.