With 1 in 5 road accidents being attributed to fatigue, drowsy driving is a significant issue. This interactive game highlights the relationship between your reaction times and the quality of your sleep.
We are frequently warned about the dangers of drink driving and whilst many of us would avoid driving after a night of drinking, very few of us avoid getting behind the wheel after a bad nights sleep.
Although the dangers of drowsy driving aren’t warned about as much as drink driving, being awake for 18 hours is the equivalent to a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%, which is the drink drive limit in the UK and Ireland. Therefore, driving when tired can be just as dangerous as driving when drunk.
With sleep deprivation having such detrimental effects on our driving, it comes as no surprise that 1 in 5 road accidents are caused by fatigue and with 25% of those being serious, or fatal, it isn’t worth risking your life, or someone else’s, for the sake of driving when tired.
Geraldine Joaquim DSFH HPD, a clinical hypnotherapist, had this to say on the issue of sleep deprivation and reaction times:
“When we’re tired we might start taking micro-sleeps, brief episodes which last up to 30 seconds during which a person temporarily loses consciousness and external stimuli aren’t perceived, which is obviously dangerous if driving, operating machinery, flying a plane or any number of other activities.”
To highlight the effect sleep deprivation can have on our reaction times, Easca Mattress have created an interactive game that tests our reaction times. You can try the game here.
By taking into account the national average stopping distance and thinking time, it predicts whether you could stop in time should you need to.
Although it appears as a fun piece of content, the game has a serious message. It aims to show people the importance of a good nights sleep, especially if you plan to drive the next day, whilst also aiming to deter people from getting behind the wheel when tired.
If you feel fatigued whilst driving, it’s best to pull over, get some fresh air and drink a caffeinated drink but be aware that these are short-term solutions and what you will really need is some sleep. With so many other transport options, it really isn’t worth the risks of drowsy driving.