Let's be honest: Who hasn't driven while exhausted? As a nation, our on-the-go lifestyle leaves us sleep deprived, with one-third of us getting by on less than six hours of sleep a night. As a result, driving while drowsy is a serious problem that accounts for an estimated 100,000 crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 62 percent of adults surveyed reported driving while drowsy and 27 percent admitted to actually dozing off at the wheel during the past year. Some experts claim driving while tired is no different from driving under the influence of alcohol -- like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time and impairs judgment.
What to do
Certainly, new moms and pregnant women are at a disadvantage -- our lives are so busy that we often stay up late to accomplish household tasks, like cleaning or paying bills. Marcia Stein, spokesperson for the National Sleep Foundation, insists that you make sleep a priority. It takes a lifestyle change, but if we regularly got eight hours of sleep a night, we wouldn't be drowsy at the wheel. When you're truly tired, don't drive. There are always other options, even if it means calling a friend or a cab.