If you are sleep deprived and tired, drinking a few beers can be much more dangerous than you think
Everyone knows today how dangerous drinking and driving is (and our laws and societal tolerance for drinking and driving has changed considerably since the 1970s). But did you know that drinking when combined with sleep deprivation can be just as dangerous?
As an attorney who helps people injured mostly from car accidents, I never advise anyone to drink and drive — even if they’ve only had one beer.
But people do it all the time. People reason that just one or two drinks or beers won’t put them over the legal limit, and therefore it is safe to drive.
Well, turns out that isn’t correct. At best it is half right, depending on your weight and how quickly you consume the alcohol. While you may not get a DUI, but you could be driving just as impaired as someone who was over the legal limit.
And considering just how many Americans are driving chronically sleep deprived, this becomes a very serious problem indeed.
A study in Sleep shows that people who slept just five hours and then drank the equivalent of two or three beers had four times more crashes on a driving simulator than those who hadn’t taken a sip.
Turns out that being tired compounds the effects of the alcohol. So even though two beers might not put you over the legal limit to drive if you get pulled over, if those beers are combined with sleep deprivation, you could end up causing a serious car accident.
Named a “Leader in the Law” and “Lawyer of the Year” by Michigan’s largest legal newspaper for his record-breaking auto accident verdicts, settlements and advocacy work in preventing wrecks, Steven Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law—a firm dedicated to serious motor vehicle accident injury and wrongful death cases.