People who work the third shift in the Wilson area are probably no strangers to operating their vehicles while tired. These motorists are not alone. Many people drive while drowsy, not realizing the dangers it poses for them on the roads.
Drowsy driving is just as risky as driving drunk. The chances of crashing a vehicle into something or someone and causing multi-vehicle accidents are much higher than normal. Here is a brief overview of the dangers of sleep-impaired driving.
A full night's sleep is necessary to ensure road safety
The average person requires seven to eight hours of sleep every 24 hours to feel completely rested and alert. However, many people get considerably less time to sleep. The dangers of drowsy driving increase with the number of hours a person is missing in sleep. The risks are also higher when drivers have longer commutes.
Fatigue makes car accidents likely
Night shift workers are more likely to end up in car accidents. Their work schedules often lead to abnormalities in their sleep-cycle functions. They often end up in morning traffic with dayshift workers who are more alert, although poor sleep schedules and distractions are common among both dayshift and nightshift workers.
Sleep impairment impacts driving abilities
Sleepy drivers have more near-miss events during their commutes. Fatigue impairs their cognitive functions. It makes it more difficult for them to spot potential hazards and make the right decisions to avoid them. They are not completely aware of the motorists and traffic conditions around them. Their slower reactions make counteracting their own and other motorists’ driving errors challenging.
Drowsy driving is avoidable. Even graveyard shift workers can take measures to increase their safety. It might not be possible for them to change their work schedules. However, they can modify their lifestyle, sleep schedule and diets to minimize the drowsiness they feel when they are driving.