The week of Nov. 1-8, 2015 is set aside each year as National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in an effort to bring awareness to the dangers caused by driving while drowsy, which is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. This years theme encourages drivers to Drive Alert, Arrive Alive.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, one in six fatal auto accidents is a result of a drowsy driver and 10 percent of adult drivers admit that they have fallen asleep while driving. What is most tragic about thesedrowsy driving statisticsis that these accidents are completely preventable.
Avoid Drowsy Driving
By getting enough sleep the night before making a long trip and alternating drivers every few hours, motorists can avoid drowsy driving.
According to the Foundation,fatigue-related accidents are most common among younger drivers and teens who often do not get enough sleep and drive at night. Other high-risk groups include night-shift workers and commercial truck drivers.
These types of accidents are most likely to happen between midnight and 6 a.m. and during the middle of the afternoon. The most common drowsy driver is male and typically is driving alone.
Warning signs of fatigued driving include difficulty keeping your head up and your eyes open, having trouble staying focused, and drifting from your lane.
If you begin to experience these, you should take a break from driving. Consider taking a nap if you have time, or simply work in a stretch break every couple of hours throughout your trip. If you are traveling with a passenger, take turns driving.
Through a conscious effort of making sure to get enough sleep at night and recognizing the warning signs of fatigued driving, we can decrease the number of drowsy driving accidents that occur each year.
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