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How dangerous is driving while drowsy?

Driving while drowsy is very dangerous. Recent studies have shown that sleepiness while driving increases the chance of accidents. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving accounts for 1,500, or 4%, of total traffic fatalities annually. Several studies have shown that being awake for 18 hours produces an impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05, where .08 is the legal limit. Being awake longer than that led to impairment equivalent of up to a BAC of .10! More concerning is that studies have shown that drivers cannot accurately rate their degree of impairment due to drowsiness and that sleep-related accidents are more common in young people than in the elderly. If you are drowsy or falling asleep while driving, stop and take a nap. Cold air and loud music are not effective in keeping you awake.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.