Sleep is the only remedy for drowsy driving. Always be well rested before you get behind the wheel.
Yawning or blinking frequently? Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven? Drifting from your lane?
If you experience any of these warnings signs, pull over to rest or change drivers. Driving Drowsy is not an option.
Drowsy driving is estimated to contribute to as many as 1.2 million collisions, resulting in potentially 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year.
56% of teen crash deaths occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. This is primarily due to a combination of the visibility challenges caused by dark conditions, slower response time brought about by fatigue, and a lack of experience driving under such conditions.
Buckle up...Stay Alive
While most people would never consider driving while drowsy to be more dangerous than driving drunk, the reality is that they’re equally as dangerous. Being awake for just 19 hours is comparable to driving drunk (or a blood alcohol content of .05%.)
If you feel any of these symptoms, you’re too tired to drive:
1. You can’t stop yawning.
2. You find it hard to hold up your head.
3. Your eyes close for just a moment.
4. You cannot keep your eyes focused.
5. Your thoughts wander or seem disconnected.
6. You have no memory of the last part of the drive.
7. You miss your exit or turn.
8. You slow down unintentionally.
9. You drift over the center line.
Be sure you get your rest before any road trip.
Make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night!
Fatigue can slow your reaction time, and cause you to make unsafe decisions, like forgetting to fasten your seatbelt. Remember that a cup of coffee can’t replace a good night’s rest.
Nurses are big offenders of driving drowsy. As a night shift nurse for 3 years I can honestly say there were some nights I had no idea how I would make it home after the shift.
I got pulled over a few weeks ago for weaving on Business 40 while driving home from dinner out in Greensboro. At the time, I was very tired, very drowsy. I was focused on the fact that I couldn’t possibly get in trouble for driving under the influence, that I was just tired, and I was almost impatient to take a breathalyzer to prove it. But when I thought about it later, I realized that although I know people who have been hurt and even killed in drowsy driving accidents, I’ve never been as vocal against it as drunk driving.
I was weaving because I was exhausted, and I could have hurt myself or someone else. But the officer who pulled me over had no recourse (take me to the police station) to prevent a potential safety hazard except to tell me to be careful. Fortunately, this happened right at my exit, so I just had to make it the 0.8 miles the rest of the way home. But it’s made me think since then.
I’ve always been adamant about not drinking and driving, but if someone makes a poor choice in that regard, there’s a chance someone could stop and arrest them before anyone gets hurt. With drowsy driving you won’t be arrested, it’s 100% knowing and respecting your own limits.
Optalert early warning drowsiness detection system
- made of series of components that work together to reduce risk of accidents caused by fatigue. Glasses work by measuring velocity of operator’s eyelid 500 times/second using tiny invisible LED built into frame of glasses.
Individual Risk Indicator System, shows managers,
supervisors/administration staff risk level for each employee. Real time alerts are sent using SMS text messages or emails to nominated staff when one of their drivers received a ‘high-risk’ warning.
About the Car Care Council: The Car Care Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating motorists about the importance of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair through its “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign.