A tired driver has the potential to become a deadly driver – California Highway Patrol has joined forces with the National Sleep Foundation to create a week-long “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week” (DDPW) campaign to educate motorists about the dangers of driving while on the verge of alertness exhaustion.
From November 12 through November 18th of 2012, the DDPW campaign will take place.
“Fatigued drivers are a safety risk on our roadways,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “If you are tired, reaction time and judgment can become impaired. Tired drivers behave similarly to those who are intoxicated.”
To help resolve reaction time, judgment and vision, which are impaired by drowsiness, the National Sleep Foundation and CHP came up with the following tips to reduce the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel:
- Stay Alert – getting 7-9 hours of sleep helps maintain an alert brain.
- Schedule breaks for long road trips; either every couple of hours or 100 miles to stretch and get blood flowing through the body.
- Bring a companion. Whenever possible a companion that is licensed to drive can ease the stress of driving. Alternate driving duties.
- Consume caffeine when needed to increase alertness.
- Exit the highway when you feel tired; find a safe location to park and rest.
- Avoid alcohol, medications that cause drowsiness and don’t drive during hours when you would typically sleep.
“With a few simple precautions drivers can help prevent future tragedies from occurring,” Commissioner Farrow remarked.
Drowsy driver accidents accounted for at least 3,600 collisions in the year 2010. CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System statistics recorded that of those collisions, more than thirty people were killed and at least 2,000 people were injured in one way or another.
Earlier in 2012 one passenger was killed and a driver was seriously injured when they became involved in an Antelope Valley drowsy driver car wreck.
The driver of a pickup truck was attempting to cross the intersection of Business Center Parkway and Avenue K-10 in Lancaster when he fell asleep behind the wheel Sunday afternoon, July 15th. The truck smashed against another vehicle and a light pole. Initial evaluations of the accident had people believing that it had been and alcoholic intoxication-related crash but investigators ruled that out after giving the accident a closer look. Paramedics declared a passenger dead at the scene and rushed the driver along with another passenger to the hospital – one in critical condition, the other injured but in stable condition.
Make an effort to get plenty of sleep before taking the wheel of a vehicle, it can get deadly.
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