Driving tired is as bad as driving drunk

The American breakdown company AAA has released a report showing driving tired is just as bad as driving drunk.

It’s been a comparison made for a while and now confirmed by the report that combines several existing studies and new research.

The conclusions are stark: Sleep deprived drivers are as unfit to drive as those who are over the limit. 21% of fatal road accidents involved a driver who was sleep deprived.

The report looked at over 4,500 crashes and found that people with less than 4 hours sleep were 11.5% more likely to be involved in an accident. Even 6-7 hours sleep had a 1.3% increase. The figures might be even more as they didn’t count accidents between midnight and 6am, when it is more likely people will have had less sleep if they are out and about.

Sleep deprivation causes a lack of concentration and attention that makes people more accident prone. Reflexes and thought processes are slower. It also causes irritability and mood swings. More medical side effects include obesity, diabetes, stress, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.

So what causes sleep deprivation? There are a number of sleep disorders, such as insomnia, that can interrupt sleep. But increasingly it is the pace of modern life, overwork and stress that is to blame. There is also mounting evidence to show a link between mobile phones and sleep deprivation.

Research shows that the light from mobile phone screens uses the same blue part of the spectrum as sunlight and as it is sunlight that regulates sleep patterns this can confuse the body’s natural circadian rhythm, leading to a disrupted night’s rest and sleep deprivation.

But you don’t have to get rid of your phone. WaveWall’s blue light filter and screen protector, now available in tough tempered glass, blocks the harmful blue light from your phone and protects you from sleep deprivation – as well as protecting your phone’s screen.

Do you ever drive while feeling sleep deprived?

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