The dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are widely recognized. Less acknowledged are the perils of going for a spin when living with a sleep disorder.
Sleep ailments can significantly impair one’s ability to stay alert and attentive while on the road. The fact remains that anyone who dozes off for even a second behind the wheel is prone to causing a devastating accident.
Insomnia and drowsy driving
Insomnia is a common disorder that often results in chronic sleep deprivation. Individuals with this condition struggle to fall asleep or maintain a restful slumber. This may lead to daytime drowsiness, which makes it harder to concentrate on driving and increases the risk of getting into a wreck.
Obstructive sleep apnea and inadequate rest
Obstructive sleep apnea, which afflicts approximately 39 million American adults, poses a significant threat to commuters. Sufferers experience repeated interruptions in their breathing throughout the night, thus leading to poor sleep quality. As a result, they may nod off during the day, including when driving.
Narcolepsy and sudden sleep attacks
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of sleepiness. These incidents, known as “sleep attacks,” may occur at any moment and without warning. For individuals dealing with this medical problem, the risk of falling unconscious while in the driver’s seat remains a constant worry.
Sleep disorders can severely impede one’s ability to drive safely, making them a concern for all. Dozing off while operating a motor vehicle imperils not only the driver but also nearby pedestrians.