The Startling Dangers of Drowsy Driving


Letting out a big yawn and rubbing your eyes as you slide into the driver’s seat with a large latte—it doesn’t sound like the makings of a deadly car accident. But driving on too little sleep can be just as dangerous as driving with too much alcohol in your system.

A new public service announcement released today by the Huffington Post, in collaboration with Uber, sheds light on what’s at stake when someone gets behind the wheel on too little sleep: “I was driving back from Columbia, South Carolina. I fell asleep at the wheel for three to five seconds. Within those three to five seconds my whole entire life changed,” says Adam Gorlitzky, who is now bound to a wheelchair. “You have that macho mentality where you say, ‘I’m almost home.’ But if I were to talk to my 19-year-old self, I would say that you’re not invincible.”

According to a 2014 report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 21% of fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. That’s not far behind drunk driving: Alcohol accounts for 31% of traffic-related deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Just like alcohol, drowsiness diminishes your ability to drive in many ways: It slows down reaction time, impairs decision-making ability, limits awareness of what’s going on around you, creates lapses in attention, and can even cause bouts of “microsleep”—dozing…

What do you think?