STATES CHRONICLE – Driving while drunk is both illegal and life-threatening but driving while tired is not recommended either as driving after night shift is very dangerous.
Most of the car accidents that happen involve someone being inebriated behind the wheel. Alcohol consumption even in low levels reduces your focus and your reactions become a lot slower. In large amounts alcohol definitely makes you unable to drive. However, being tired also decreases your time of reaction and makes you unable to concentrate.
While driving you need to pay attention to everything around you and to have full control of the vehicle. If you’re either drunk or tired the chances of being able to do these things are very slim because you won’t have the same reflexes that you do when you are sober and rested.
To prove this point a team of researchers conducted a study on two groups of people: night-shift workers and day shift-workers. They were asked to drive for 2 hours on a closed track. The former group did this after 8 hours of work, at night, of course, while the latter did it after 7 or 8 hours of sleep. The researchers looked for reflexes, focus and coordination in the participants.
The findings showed that the night-shift working drivers had to stop early into the test as they weren’t able to control the car. Impairments could be observed within 15 minutes after the participants started driving.
However, for those who didn’t stop early, the risk of accident grew as time went by. Almost 38 percent of them had to use the emergency breaks because they couldn’t focus well enough and they almost got into accidents. Nothing of this happened in the other group.
The results are raising concerns as about 15 percent of our country’s workforce – which is about 9.5 million people – is working night-shifts. According to data on traffic, 20 percent of car accidents which caused either death or serious injuries were linked to driving tired or after a night shift.
If you’re a night-shift worker here are some advises: you should try and find another way of transportation to get home safe. If that’s not possible you should get as much rest as possible and try to not change your schedule in you days off as this will help you be healthy and also be safe.
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