This week is National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The campaign, which started yesterday and runs through the end of the week, aims to raise awareness and educate motorists about the dangers of getting behind the while of a motor vehicle while sleepy. The goal of the week, which is supported and run by the National Sleep Foundation, is to help educate individuals about this potentially deadly habit to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by drivers who are sleepy or that fall asleep behind the wheel. The campaign is also aimed at educating commercial drivers to reduce the number of truck accidents that involve truck drivers that fell asleep at the wheel.
This campaign could not have come at a better time. Recently AAA released the results of a new study that found that 41 percent of driver in the U.S. admit to have fallen asleep while behind the wheel of a vehicle at some point. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that they believe 16.5 percent of all car and truck accidents involve drowsy drivers.
It’s interesting that 41 percent of people responded that they have driven while sleepy because 85 percent of people surveyed in the same study expressed that it was “completely unacceptable” for people to drive if they are sleepy or have trouble keeping their eyes open.
AAA offers some tips to stay alert and avoid drowsiness:
- Getting plenty of sleep (at least six hours) the night before a long trip.
- Scheduling a break every two hours or every 100 miles.
- Traveling at times when you are normally awake, and staying overnight rather than driving straight through.
- Stop driving if you become sleepy; someone who is tired could fall asleep at any time.
Source: Automobile Mag “Stay Awake: AAA Study Shows 41 Percent of Drivers Admit to Sleeping at the Wheel” 11/08/2010