We’ve all done it from time to time. We’ve slipped behind the wheel even though we feel tired. We tell ourselves that it’s okay, that we’re not really all that tired, or that we’re only going a short distance so the fact that we’re practically asleep on our feet doesn’t matter.
The truth of the matter is that driving drowsy in California is every bit as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. The only difference is that there aren’t as many public service announcements about the dangers of driving drowsy in California.
The problem with driving while drowsy in California is that when you’re tired, your reflexes slow down. The slower your reflexes are, the harder it becomes to drive defensively. Being just a second too late to respond if a child runs in front of your car or a vehicle you’re following hits the brakes can result in a serious accident.
The other issue with driving drowsy in California is that fatigue can cause you to miss important things, like speed limit signs, traffic lights, etc. As a result, you’ll often create a situation that results in an accident.
Strictly speaking, California doesn’t have any laws that exactly forbid driving while drowsy, but if you’re pulled over or get into an accident, you can be ticketed with driving recklessly as well as violating other traffic laws. If your drowsy driving incident results in someone getting hurt or killed, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter and/or face civil charges. The results of a single drowsy driving incident can irrevocably change your life.
If you suddenly grow tired while you’re driving, don’t try to push through the situation. Find a safe place to pull over. Lock your car up and take a quick nap. Just a few minutes of sleep should rejuvenate you enough so you can safely get yourself home.
When all is said and done, it’s best to put off driving until you’re less tired. Nothing is worth potentially endangering your and everyone else’s life. Wait to take a drive until you’ve gotten some rest and feel more refreshed. After your quick power nap, open your car window, turn up the A/C and crank up the radio. Hopefully, the combination of cold air and singing along with your favorite songs will help keep you awake and alert.
If your power nap hasn’t fixed anything and you still feel too tired to drive. Keep your car parked and call a friend or family member for help. If you can’t find anyone to come to pick you up, contact the police. They should be able to send someone who can make sure you get safely home.