Oregon drivers like you know many factors determine how safely you drive. This can range from the food and drinks you consume to the type of clothing you wear.

But what about sleep? Just how big of an impact does drowsiness have on your ability to drive?

Similarities between DUI and drowsy driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention look at the impact drowsiness has on driver safety. Experts consider it as dangerous as driving under the influence. Why? Because it affects you in a similar way. Drivers who get less than 5 hours of sleep a night tend to exhibit the following:

  • Reduced reaction time
  • Lowered perception
  • Slow reflexes
  • Inability to predict danger

On top of that, many drowsy drivers swerve, weave and drift in their lanes. It is also common for drowsy drivers to get into rear-end collisions. They nod off while driving and do not notice that the car in front of them has already stopped.

Tricks cannot keep you alert

The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to experience these symptoms. On top of that, the “tricks” that people use to stay awake do not work. This includes driving with the window down, blasting music or drinking caffeine. Eventually, the brief edge of wakefulness wears off, leaving you just as tired as before.

Another big danger comes from the normalization of drowsy driving. Unlike distracted driving or driving under the influence, drowsy driving itself is not illegal. Many people claim to drive without getting enough sleep, too. This is why campaigns are starting to target drowsy driving so people can recognize it as a true danger.