MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Drivers getting behind the wheel with little to no sleep may be more common than you think.
Experts said that driving while sleep deprived is almost as bad as driving while intoxicated. More than 60 percent of Americans have admitted to driving tired last year. While many think they won’t fall asleep while driving, it happens and it can be deadly.
Just last weekend, Jupiter police officer Jason Starks, 34, was hit by a drowsy driver on I-95.
Starks said that he was driving back from the county jail, when a car crashed into him near Military Trail.
The officer’s car flipped over and hit a tree. Starks was able to walk away from the accident with no major injuries.
So is driving while you’re at the point of exhaustion more dangerous than driving under the influence?
In a recent test, a fully rested driver drove a designated road course overall did well. The driver successfully navigated between cones, parallel parked and pulled into a tight parking spot.
The same test was done again, only this time the driver had been up for 30 hours straight. During the course, the driver drove over one of the cones and had a difficult time parking.
Results showed that drivers had a hard time performing every task while sleepy.
So what’s the best way to stay awake behind the wheel if you’re all drained out?
Drink coffee or caffeine twenty minutes before you drive and if you’re still feeling tired, you should pull over and take a quick 15 minutes nap to wake yourself back up.