Wake Up to the Drowsy Driving EpidemicLast Updated November 17, 2016
There are a myriad of safety concerns that are involved with driving. Drunk driving, educating teen drivers, distracted driving, etc. Drowsy driving is one of the lesser known dangers related to road safety. According to the newest study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 1 in 5 deadly crashes involve driver fatigue. That is significantly higher than official numbers that have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because it’s difficult to clearly determine how tired drivers might be, like a Breathalyzer. It’s difficult to fully know the extent of the problem, hence the reason why the issue is largely under reported.
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Definitions of drowsy driving or driver fatigue are also determined on how the term “fatigue” is defined. The terms, “sleepy,” “tired” or “exhausted” could be loosely translated into different meanings depending on the research and clinical settings, often being interchangeable terms in the traffic safety and transportation fields.
There are several underlying causes of drowsy driving: sleep loss, fragmented sleep, chronic sleep debt, and other factors that conflict with the circadian rhythm, untreated sleep disorders, sedative medications, or even alcohol consumption.
This is dangerous because a fatigue impairs your reaction time, and how well you’re able to process information. Sleepiness overall decreases performance and increases aggressive and negligent behaviors.
60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy, according to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. If you consider the fact that drowsy driving is often compared to drunk driving because the impairments are similar, this issue is so much more prevalent and serious than people think.
Research has demonstrated that staying awake for 24 hours is equal to carrying a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%. The legal limit for driving in the U.S. is BAC of 0.08%
23% of adults say they know someone who crashed because they fell asleep at the wheel. But only 1 out of 5 drivers pull over to nap when they feel drowsy.
Help keep our roads safe and remember to stay awake to arrive alive!
Drowsy driving is one of the lesser known dangers related to road safety. According to the newest study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 1 in 5 deadly crashes involve driver fatigue.
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