Drowsy driving is a recently coined term used commonly to describe those who drive when they might be too tired to do so. This includes people who have been driving for many hours without a break, those who didn’t get enough sleep or even those on medications that make them tired. When you’re tired, you don’t react the way you should to stimuli, and that can lead to an accident that results in injuries and litigation.

Getting enough sleep can be hard during the holidays; long nights at parties and early mornings for work definitely have the potential to hurt your sleep routine. Is that really serious? It can be if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. According to the American Automobile Association, driving without enough sleep is comparable to driving drunk. Missing just an hour or two of sleep can double your risk of being involving a collision.

In fact, getting six to seven hours of sleep isn’t enough, either. You are at a 1.3 times greater risk of being involved in an accident missing just that single hour or two of extra sleep. Why? A brain that is sleep deprived can’t function on all cylinders. You might get easily distracted or find that you aren’t paying attention to the road as you begin to doze off.

Reduce your risk of driving dangerously this season by driving at times when you’re usually awake, driving before or long after a heavy meal and taking breaks whenever you need them. It’s better to be safe than to cause an accident.

Source: Centre Daily Times, “Driving on less than 5 hours of sleep is like driving drunk, study says,” Teresa Welsh, Dec. 06, 2016