Prevent Drowsy Driving
With the end of Daylight Savings Time, it is dark out earlier, which may make some of us feel like it's already bedtime on our after-work commute. According to The National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk, drugged or distracted driving.
What is drowsy driving and who does it affect?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines drowsy driving as the dangerous combination of driving when sleepy or fatigued. While drowsy driving can affect anyone, the CDC reports that teens and young adult drivers, commercial truck drivers, drivers who work the night shift or long shifts, drivers with untreated sleep disorders and drivers who use medicines that may make them sleepy are particularly susceptible.
When and where does drowsy driving take place?
Drowsy driving can cause an accident anywhere, at any time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that drowsy-driving crashes occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m. or late afternoon. These crashes occur most on rural roads and highways.
Why is it dangerous?
Drowsiness makes you less able to pay attention to the road, slows your reaction time and affects your ability to make good decisions.
You can do your part to prevent drowsy driving.
Always get enough sleep, avoid driving when on medications that make you sleepy and know the warning signs of drowsy driving. If you're yawning or blinking frequently, have trouble remembering the past few miles driven, drifting from your lane or hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road, you are likely driving drowsy — the NHTSA suggests drinking one to two cups of coffee and pulling over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place as a short-term intervention.
Celebrate Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Nov. 5-11, 2023, by sharing this information with others. Plus, learn more about the importance of adequate sleep during our upcoming Wellness Webinar on Tuesday, Nov. 14.