Is Driving While Tired Actually Dangerous?

man with coffee yawning driving while tired

Many of us have gotten behind the wheel at the end of a long night or in the morning after a sleepless night. And maybe you've heard driving while tired compared to driving drunk. Just how true is that comparison? It's more accurate that you probably think!

How Sleepiness Affects Your Mental State

Chronic sleepiness can cause a number of issues when it comes to a person's mental state, including:

  • Slowdown of thought processes
  • Impaired memory
  • Slowdown of reaction times
  • Decrease in alertness and concentration

It's so important to get enough sleep. If you constantly feel tired, even after a full night's sleep, consider visiting with the team at Sleep Better Austin. We can perform an evaluation and see if you're suffering from a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

Driving While Tired

So what does all of this mean when it comes to driving while tired? Think about all the things you have to do and concentrate on while driving. Where are the other drivers? Where is your turn? Is that person in front of you braking? The light just turned yellow; are you far enough away to stop? All of these relate to cognitive functions that sleepiness can impair. Drivers who are excessively sleepy don't react as quickly, don't focus on conditions around them, and don't remember to do important things like signal a turn. Estimates put the number of crashes due to driver sleepiness at anywhere between 100,000 and 1 million per year. Even driving drowsy can have a similar effect as driving drunk.

It's so important to address any underlying causes of chronic sleepiness and fatigue. You may be suffering from sleep apnea, which we can diagnose and treat. Call Sleep Better Austin today to learn more about the side effects of chronic sleepiness and how we can help!