Minnesota drivers know that driving under the influence of alcohol and distracted driving are dangerous and against the law. While drivers also know that drowsy driving can be dangerous, it often does not receive the comparison that it deserves next to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can be akin to driving under the influence.
The National Safety Council reports that around half of all US drivers admit to drowsy driving. Around 20% admit that they have fallen asleep while driving, in the last year. Nearly half of those drivers admit that it happened more than once in their lifetime.
In terms of fatal crashes, US News explains that about 20% of those crashes occur due to drowsy driving. The question that drivers may have is, how much sleep is too little sleep? If you lose one or two hours of sleep, you will double your risk of an accident, according to a AAA study. Then, if you raise that number to three hours, you can increase the risk by about 400%.
If a person goes with less than five hours of sleep, he or she may have the same capabilities behind the wheel as an intoxicated person. In fact, the government estimates that sleeping for four to five hours a night is akin to driving approximately with an .08% BAC.
Like a drunk driver, a sleep deprived driver has a slow reaction time and may not respond to obstacles in the road. Additionally, he or she may suffer distractions, make bad decisions and may even doze off and drift into a different lane.