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3 ways drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | Motor vehicle accidents |

Indiana law classifies drowsy driving as impaired driving, so you should avoid driving when you are feeling sleepy. Drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving. You are at a higher risk of getting into a car accident whether you are drowsy or under the influence.

1. Slowed reaction time

Alcohol and sleepiness both cause you to have a slower reaction time. Fast reaction times are important when you’re operating a vehicle. A split second can make the difference between causing a car accident and avoiding one.

When you are awake for 24 hours, your condition is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.1%, which is over the legal limit. In Indiana, non-commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.08%, and commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04% even when they aren’t operating a commercial vehicle.

2. Swerving

Many car accidents caused by drowsy driving involve the tired driver drifting into another person’s lane. Drunk drivers may also have problems with accidentally swerving the car. You might directly crash into someone or otherwise cause an accident when you suddenly drift into their lane. Falling asleep at the wheel is another risk among drowsy drivers. Even if you only nod off for one second, that’s enough time to cause a wreck.

3. Poorer decision making

When your body hasn’t gotten enough sleep, your decision-making abilities take a hit. It might not seem like this skill matters during driving, but it does matter. Decision-making isn’t just a conscious skill that you do when you’re choosing which college to attend or where to move. It occurs subconsciously in life-or-death situations like when a car cuts in front of you on the road or you lose control over your vehicle.

Drowsy driving and drunk driving are so similar that many would say they are equally bad. Your judgment, coordination and reaction time suffer when you don’t get enough sleep or you’re under the influence of alcohol.