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If you wouldn't drive drunk, you shouldn't drive drowsy.

Our lives our getting increasingly busy. Multi-tasking is the new norm. We're juggling a seemingly endless list of responsibilities, leaving little time for rest or relaxation. All too often, a solid night's sleep gets prioritized last, and we become accustomed to going through our days in a sleep-deprived state. Some of us even consider our excessive busyness and insufficient sleep to be points of pride.

However, sleep deprivation is actually a serious problem--and it poses many risks to personal and public safety. In a previous article, we made a case for employers in the transportation industry to implement anti-drowsy driving policies for their drivers. This is equally important at the individual level. Every driver should impose such limitations on themselves, because the consequences of drowsy driving can be disastrous.

Sleepiness vs. drunkenness

You probably know that sleepiness can put you in a foul mood. You may even know that insufficient sleep can have long-term effects on your health. But you may be surprised to learn that the impacts of sleep deprivation on your cognitive function and reaction time are similar to being drunk.

A recent study found that if you go without sleep for just 17 consecutive hours, your brain's function is similar to if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) were 0.05 percent. With increased sleep deprivation, that effect can increase to as much as 0.1 percent. In Georgia, a BAC of 0.08 percent is legally drunk.

The next time you have a fitful night's sleep, it's worth considering how your sleep deprivation could play out behind the wheel. Making the decision to find a ride to work could save you from disaster on the road.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to someone else recklessly driving while drowsy, you may be suffering from physical and psychological trauma--in addition to vehicle damage. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you claim the full compensation you deserve. 

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