Exhaustion can also impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle — and drowsy driving can be deadly. Rather than take a break, far too many drivers “push through” fatigue to make it to their destination, which can pose major risks for themselves and others on the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving is responsible for up to 1.2 million collisions and approximately 5,000+ fatalities each year. Worse yet, nearly a third of all surveyed drivers admitted to driving while drowsy at least once over the past 30 days.
As you can see, it is never wise or safe to push through exhaustion while driving. When you are tired behind the wheel, your reaction time slows down and your judgment declines, which increases your risk of getting hurt, hurting others or worse.
Getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is your best defense against drowsy driving. If that isn’t possible, your safest option is to take a break or switch drivers. Rolling down the windows, turning up the radio or drinking a caffeinated beverage are not effective solutions.
Remember: Take a break. Drive awake.