Updated: Feb 23
Several Alabama residents go without the minimum of seven hours of sleep that the Center for Disease Control suggests every night. Due to this, more residents are driving drowsy. An AAA study in 2018 found camera footage of drivers prior to being in a car accident, and scientists found that 9.5% of all collisions stem from drowsy drivers.
Drivers should understand the consequences of sleep deprivation as similar to those of driving under the influence of alcohol. The National Sleep Foundation found that lack of sleep for 24 consecutive hours can cause the same impairment as that of having a blood alcohol level of .10. That amount is beyond the legal limit of .08.
Prescription sleep aids play another role in drowsy driving as well. Normally, it is beneficial to sleep 7 to 8 hours after consuming prescription sleep aids. However, a Consumer Reports study in the United States revealed that 1 in 5 people who take sleep aids confessed to driving behind the wheel within seven hours. Drugs such as antihistamines, muscle relaxers, and antidepressants, also lead to sleepiness.
To avoid drowsy driving, getting sufficient sleep may not work. Many people usually get 7 hours of sleep but still feel sleepy afterward. These people could be managing obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy. People that take prescription or over-the-counter drugs should have their physician reschedule dosage to prevent issues during their commute.
If you or your loved one have been injured in an auto accident, contact the Bryant Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation at 205-267-8561.