November 1-8 is Drowsy Driver Prevention Week. It is important to give attention to this hazard on the road, as many people every day get on the road that are too tired to drive. Half of drivers surveyed in the Sleep in America poll have admitted to driving while drowsy. As it is easy for police to detect when alcohol is a factor in a crash, it is much more difficult to conclude that drowsiness was a leading or contributing factor in a crash. The estimates from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conclude that driving while drowsy has caused 100,000 car accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. Statistics also show that more men than women drive while too sleepy to drive, 56% vs 45%.
How can we prevent drowsy driving accidents?
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- If you have been up for 24 hrs, do not drive
- Take a break every 2 hrs of driving or every 100 miles
- Open the windows and get fresh air…the colder the better!
- Drink a caffeinated beverage
- Have a passenger with you while driving. Have them talk to you and keep you alert.
- Avoid alcohol as it can make you even more drowsy (and it is against the law to drink and drive!)
Avoid medications that cause drowsiness
- If none of these tips work, just pull off the road and take a quick nap or stay somewhere for the night and continue the drive on a good nights rest.
- If you are prone to getting sleepy while driving have someone else drive on longer trips and at night when falling asleep is more likely.
Protect yourself and the ones you love by not driving while drowsy, share with friends and family and on social media with #Awake2Drive.