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There is no question in the world that drunk driving is dangerous. There are laws in every state that govern against it. What most people don’t realize is that there is just as much danger in drowsing driving as there is in driving under the influence. Discovery Channel’s MythBusters did an entire experiment about this and found that sleepy drivers were far less stable on the road than their drunken counterparts. That should be a wake-up call for all of us.

Causes of Drowsy Driving

Drowsiness is obviously the cause of drowsy driving, but what causes that in the first place? The chaos of the modern world doesn’t allow much of anyone to get a decent night of sleep. Mothers, college students, businesspeople, and the like all struggle to find moments to snooze. As a result, many of them will “push through” the day because they have to, even if that means driving while sleepy. If you are prone to pulling all-nighters for one reason or another, this information will hopefully convince you to stop.

How to Minimize and Avoid Drowsy Driving Symptoms

Sleep is going to be the key to keeping you safe on the road. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, you need to try to take a 20 minute power nap before you start driving. This is supposed to be equivalent to a cup of coffee in terms of the energy it can provide for you. Set an alarm on your phone and just snooze for 20 full minutes. You should wake up refreshed and more alert.

If you are having trouble seeing or keeping your eyes open, pull over and call someone to pick you up. Get a cab, rent a car, take a bus…do whatever it takes. There is no destination that is worth putting your life at risk, especially when doing so could cause harm to other people. If you start to think about all of the people you might be hurting on the road, you should make the logical move to stop driving.

You’re not Superman, Wonder Woman, Lora Croft, or a Jedi night. The sooner you start to realize the limits of your very-human body, the sooner you should be able to see how dumb it is to drive tired. Don’t rely on energy drinks to get you home at night. Act responsibly on the road so you will have a chance to be on it again in the future.

Harriet Turner is a writer who has actually been in an accident with a drowsy driver. If you have experienced something similar, you should start a whiplash claim today.