You may assume heading out on the roads with only a few hours of sleep will not lead to any further issues.
However, driving while sleep-deprived can influence your reaction time, and even potentially put you and others at risk for an accident. Knowing when to pull off the road is important for any driver.
Slower reaction time
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many drowsy drivers are less likely to react in time to prevent an accident. Stop signs and traffic signals are easy to miss if you are not looking directly at the road.
When people are sleepy, they tend to slowly close their eyes and take their hands off the wheel. You may also find your head involuntarily drooping, which is another sign you are falling asleep as you drive.
If you notice yourself yawning frequently and driving over rumble strips on the edge of the lane, you may be falling asleep. Rapid, repeated blinking can also signal that your body is feeling the effects of little to no sleep.
Exiting any busy road and parking as soon as you notice this reaction is one way to prevent accidents.
If you struggle to recall when you turned off a road or where you are, you may be suffering from drowsiness. A lack of sleep can affect your concentration, which can lead you to drift into another lane or even off the road entirely.
Staying aware of the dangers of drowsy driving can help you to avoid an accident, especially if you are a shift worker or struggle with sleep disorders.