Drowsy driving is at least as dangerous as illegally driving under the influence of alcohol (Powell, Schechtman, Wiley, Li, Troell, & Guilleminault, 2001). Staying awake for 19 hours produces impairment similar to having a BAC of 0.05. Being awake for 24 hours is comparable to having a BAC of roughly 0.10 (Dawson & Reid, 1997).
According to a recent report by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “More than two in five drivers (43.2%) admitted having fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once in their life.”
If you find that you are too sleepy to drive, the best thing to do is get a full night’s rest. If that’s not possible, take a 20 minute nap or drink 2 caffeinated drinks (each with as much caffeine as a cup of coffee).
Dawson, D., & Reid, K. (1997). Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment. Nature, 388, 235.
Powell, N. B., Schechtman, K. B., Wiley, R. W., Li, K., Troell, R., & Guilleminault, C. (2001). The road to danger: The comparative risks of driving while sleepy. The Laryngoscrope, 111(5), 887-893.