Don't Sleep-Deprive and Drive

By Fionna Agomuoh 05/31/12

Driving without enough sleep is as hazardous as driving drunk, suggests a recent study.

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An all-night TV marathon may have your friends pouncing on your car keys, now that several studies have revealed that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US, approximately 100,000 crashes that are reported to the police each year are the direct result of fatigue and sleepiness—a number that might be greater since there is no way to pinpoint exactly how many people drive without enough sleep. Research from various parts of the world confirms the results of the study. A French study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine surveyed 679 people hospitalized because of car accidents between 2007 and 2009 found that driving without enough sleep doubles the risk of a car accident—the same as the risk of driving while drunk. This study also revealed that men and younger adults were more likely to drive while sleepy. Research from the Netherlands concluded that night-driving for two hours is as dangerous as driving while tipsy, and three hours of night driving is as dangerous as driving drunk. Similarly to alcohol or drugs, sleep deprivation can impact coordination, judgement and reaction time. Drunk driving has been stigmatized over the years because of its high accident and death toll—perhaps as more is revealed about drowsy driving, it may become equally frowned upon.

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Fionna Agomuoh is a tech writer and product reviewer, as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechieSupreme.com. Fionna previously worked at several media companies, including Newsweek Media Group and Business Insider. Find her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

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