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National Sleep Foundation Announces Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

The McClellan Law Firm

This week is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) wants to make sure that people are aware of how dangerous it can be to drive while sleepy. NSF along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that over 100,000 car accidents are caused by people falling asleep behind the wheel.

Statistics also show that there have been over 1500 deaths as a result of drowsy driving accidents. This is a concern because many drivers don't realize that not sleeping for 20 hours is about the same as having a blood alcohol content level at the legal limit. That means that someone who has not slept in 20 hours will be impaired at the same level as someone who is driving drunk.

Am I Too Drowsy to Drive?

The NSF has identified several groups of people who should be more cautious when considering getting behind the wheel if they're feeling a bit tired. They include young drivers, people who work night shifts, people who have multiple jobs, semi truck drivers, and people who travel a lot.

The problem is that people often can't tell when they are too tired to drive. The NSF suggests that having trouble focusing or staying in your own lane is a sign that you are too tired. Sometimes drivers will feel tired and turn up the radio or open the window, hoping that will keep them alert. That often means that the driver is too tired already and should not be driving.

How Can I Prevent Drowsy Driving?

Being drowsy behind the wheel can cause accidents because drivers cannot react to things in time. NSF suggests a few ways to prevent drowsy driving accidents:

  • Getting a good amount of sleep regularly
  • Avoid alcohol, especially if you're already feeling tired
  • Pull off the road and take a short nap if you are feeling drowsy
  • Have a friend in the car who can drive if you get too tired
  • Wear your seatbelt

Ultimately, drivers need to be aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and how to avoid it so that they can protect themselves and others while on the road.

For more information on Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, visit their national website.