Here’s What Happens When You Drive While Tired
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The shocking dangers when you drive while tired, and the illegal activity its compared to.
The dangers when you drive while tired are fairly well-known. Drivers are cautioned against long periods behind the wheel by automatic reminders. And every so often articles surface to caution us to not drive while tired. Given the plethora of advice on the subject, it can seem like driving while fatigued is something that everyone knows how to do. That it’s simply not a problem that we have to deal with anymore.
Of course, this isn’t the case. While it’s possible to know, intellectually, that it’s important not to drive a car while tired, reality tends to get in the way. Driving kids to school in the morning; needing to press on to finish a long journey when you don’t have time to stop— these are scenarios that make the constant advice about not driving while tired pale into insignificance.
One of the main reasons this advice is so easily overcome is due to the fact that few of us actually know what happens to us when we drive while tired. We just know doing this is “dangerous”, which isn’t particularly useful if you’re looking for facts. So, if you want to truly know what happens to you when you drive while fatigued, read on…
You’ll be more easily distracted
When you’re tired, you’ll be easier to distract, and there are a lot of things that can distract you while driving. From road signs to a conversation with a passenger, distraction is an ever-present threat. Unfortunately, distraction is extremely dangerous when driving; it means you’re unable to focus on your own driving, and that you’re less likely to take avoidance measures if another road user is driving poorly. In short, distractions can be calamitous. Given that all drivers want to avoid crashes and going through the painstaking process of finding legal help after a wreck, it’s clear that distraction is a matter to be guarded against— and avoiding a drive while tired is a key method of achieving this goal.
You may experience microsleeps
For any driver, the idea of falling asleep at the wheel is terrifying. When most of us picture this happening, we imagine a full “nodding off” moment; eyes closed, neck rolling, and a complete inability to drive.
This, however, is not necessarily how falling asleep at the wheel may occur. You may experience microsleeps, which are arguably even more dangerous, as they can happen without you even knowing. When driving, all it takes is the few seconds of a microsleep for catastrophe to occur.
Your reaction times are diminished
Driving while tired results in severely lengthened reaction times. This means that you’re unable to react as quickly as you should to issues on the road; for example, if a pedestrian walks out unexpectedly, or the car in front of you grinds to a halt. Studies have shown that driving while tired has just as catastrophic an impact on your ability to react and focus as driving while drunk does, and should thus be avoided at all costs.
Now that you’re more aware of how exactly you’re compromised when you drive while tired, you’ll hopefully be able to make positive decisions regarding this circumstance in future. Ultimately, if you suspect you’re too tired to drive, there’s a good chance you probably are. And sitting out the journey is always going to be the best choice in this scenario.
Ready to start getting better sleep? Check out this post about getting better sleep, and click the image below to download your printable sleep log!
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