Most of us understand the risks of driving after a few drinks. We arrange for a designated driver or we take a taxi when we have had too much to drink. But few of us consider the risks of driving when we are tired. None of us have ever considered a designated driver because we are tired. Perhaps you should.
According to a study by AAA 41% of drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. 1 in 10 of that 41% admitted that it occurred within the last year. That is a lot of sleepy drivers.
AAA found, through research, that people who hadn't slept for 20 hours had a 50% slower response and speed time than drivers who were well rested. The sleep-deprived become impaired and their reaction, response and reflex time is the same or similar to a person with a .05 blood-alcohol content.
It is recommended, for your safety and the safety of others, that you recognize the signs of drowsiness. AAA suggests that you not ignore these signs - unable to hold your head up, unable to keep your eyes open, day-dreaming, drifting in and out of your lane, and tailgating.
If you are too tired to drive, such as on long road trips or after working a long shift, ask someone for a ride. Do not push on. You are just as impaired as someone who has had a few drinks. Use public transportation, if necessary. Take a bus on a train. You can even get a nap while you ride. Also, take medication labels seriously. When you see on the label, "do not operate heavy equipment" that does apply to motor vehicles. These tips can keep you and others on the road safe.
AAA recommends 6 hours of sleep before embarking on any long drives.