Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drinking over the limit

Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drinking over the limit
Texas DPS Sergeant John Gonzalez (Source: KCBD Video)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Getting seven hours of sleep at night can be difficult, but if you only get four or five hours, you quadruple your chances of getting into an accident.

That's the same risk associated with drinking over the legal limit.

"The same visual acuities that we see with drinking and driving, the weaving, the going off the shoulder, speeding up and slowing down. We see those same affects while driving while drowsy and texting and cell phone use," Sergeant John Gonzalez with the Texas Department of Public Safety says.

Some of the main signs of drowsy driving include heavy eyelids, head nodding, and the inability to remember the last few miles you drove.

According to a AAA study, across the nation one in every five accidents involves a drowsy driver. Across Texas, in 2016, there were over 160 fatal crashes, and that number is continuing to increase.

Sergeant Gonzalez adds that it's important to practice safe driving, not only to protect ourselves, but so we, "set these examples not only for ourselves, but also our children as they're watching us drive, because then as they grow up, they're going to be asking the question 'why do I need to do that? My mom and dad doesn't do that, why should I?"

If you are feeling tired behind the wheel, Sergeant Gonzalez first recommends getting up and out of the car, walking around and getting your blood flowing helps give you more energy.

AAA even suggests getting out of the car every 100 miles on long road trips, and traveling with a friend. Also try and drive during daylight hours, don't eat heavy food, watch your medications and, as always, try and get the recommended seven hours of sleep.

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