You switch off the lights, lock the office door, and get in the car, hoping to make it home before your kids have gone to bed. You don’t have to ask yourself “Am I too tired to drive,” because you know what the answer is—but you can hardly sleep under your desk. You know you shouldn’t drive when you’re this exhausted, but you have no choice; you’re just going to have to tough it out...and it probably won’t be the last time.
Many Motorists on the Road Know They Are Too Tired to Drive
The sad fact is that the cause of many car accidents start just this way: through plain and simple stubbornness. A recent study found that the half of all drivers have driven at least once against their better judgment, 70 percent admitted that they were too tired to drive at the time.
In addition to driving drowsy, many drivers surveyed admitted to getting behind the wheel when they shouldn’t of due to:
- Pain. Pain compromises the ability to drive in a number of ways. For example, 53 percent of people drove despite serious headaches, 35 percent were sick enough to be in bed, and 15 percent admitted to driving while under the influence of narcotic pain medication.
- Alcohol. Twenty-three percent of drivers surveyed said that they had driven at least once when they were legally intoxicated, but only because they were less drunk than a friend.
- Medical issues. Sixteen percent of drivers were not wearing necessary glasses or contact lenses, while at least eight percent had driven with one arm in a cast.
- Car problems. Even when a driver is fully-able, vehicle issues remain an overwhelming problem on Kansas City highways. For example, 10 percent of drivers operated a vehicle where a door had to be held closed, 32 percent of drivers were once unable to see due to ice on the windshield, and a whopping 61 percent of drivers continued down the road despite noticing the "check engine" light was on.
- Necessity. Twenty-one percent of drivers who forced themselves to get behind the wheel did so in order to go or return home from work or school, go to the doctor, or to pick up their children.
Drowsy Drivers May Be Willing to Change Their Ways
The bad news is that many people continue to drive while drowsy or compromised because they feel that they have no other option. The good news is that they are open to solutions that can make roads safer: Approximately 79 percent of people said they handed over the keys when a friend told them not to drive in their condition, and over 60 percent said that they would support making drowsy driving against the law.
Know someone who always works late, but never takes a taxi? Share this article with her on Facebook to let her know she has options. A late-night bus service or ride share could save more than one life after dark!