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Drivers, Wake Up!

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Have you ever fallen asleep while driving? Have you ever felt drowsy behind the wheel?

Most people will answer “yes” to both questions, particularly the second one. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs gets all the attention of the media and the authorities. However, many people don’t realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous.

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety confirms that drowsy drivers threaten road safety in many ways. According to researchers, two out of every five drivers say they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point, and more than a quarter of drivers responding to a survey admit being so sleepy that they’ve had trouble keeping their eyes open while driving in the previous month. In addition, researchers found that one in 10 people reported falling asleep while driving within the past year.

People can “lose their sleep” over these scary numbers but yet, none or little action is taken to to raise awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving.

It’s time to start acting to prevent more accidents. Drowsy drivers are putting themselves at risk but also putting other people at risk as well. Crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 1999 and 2008 estimate that drowsy driving was involved in about one in six, or 16.5 percent, of fatal crashes and about one in eight, or 13 percent, of accidents requiring hospitalization, whether on the highway or on other roads.

Coffee, energy shots and drinks can help to keep you awake but if you are tired and can’t keep your eyes open, it’s time to get off the road and get some rest.

Rest stops and gas stations can be used for a nap or a break before you are ready to safely hit the road again.

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