Lack of sleep yet making the conscious decision to get behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous things you can do as a driver. Studies have shown that driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
We’ve seen it time and time again where crashes could have been prevented had the driver had adequate sleep. A recent crash in Jackson, Mississippi proves this point well.
According to WTVM-TV, an 18 wheeler for FedEx overturned recently, causing traffic to back up until the wreck could be cleared.
Troopers say the driver of the semi wrecked after falling asleep behind the wheel. The driver, whose name hasn’t been released, suffered only minor injuries. Fortunately, no one else was involved.
What the Research Says
According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. Drowsiness:
- Makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road.
- Slows reaction time if you have to brake or steer suddenly.
- Affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions.
Now it’s not known if this FedEx driver was in compliance with the government’s HOS rules. We can only assume. With that said, he’s very lucky that no one else was injured during the accident.
The moral of the lesson is simple. Just as you wouldn’t drink behind the wheel, driving while drowsy is also just as potentially deadly. It’s just not worth the risk.