Here is a reminder from the National Sleep Foundation that “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®”, November 6th through 13th is coming up. It is a great time to remind drivers about signs and what to do when they are driving. Help them recognize signs they are drowsy and give clear instruction for what they need to do in this situation.
In an effort to reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes and to save lives, the National Sleep Foundation is declaring November 6-13, 2016 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®. This annual campaign provides public education about the under-reported risks of driving while drowsy and countermeasures to improve safety on the road.
Watch Out for Signs of Sleepiness Most people are not very good at predicting when they are about to fall asleep. But there are key warning signs to tell you when you are too tired to drive, including:
. Trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or your head up
. Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
. Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
. Drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits
. Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive
. Turning up the radio or rolling down the window
. Slower reaction time, poor judgment
These are signs that you may be at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. If you experience any of these, pull over immediately at a safe place, switch drivers, take a short nap, consume caffeine or find a place to sleep for the night.
Drowsy Driving – Who’s Most at Risk?
Anyone who drives is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but some groups of people are more at risk than others.
Young drivers – Combining inexperience with sleepiness and a tendency to drive at night puts young people at risk, especially males aged 16-25 years.
Shift workers and people working long hours – People who work night shifts, rotating shifts, double shifts or work more than one job have a six-fold increase in drowsy driving crashes.
Commercial drivers – Those who drive a high number of miles and drive at night are at significantly higher risk for fall-asleep crashes. Commercial drivers have also been found to be at a high risk for sleep disorders.
People with untreated sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – People with untreated OSA are up to seven times more likely to have a drowsy driving crash. For some people insomnia can increase fatigue.
Business travelers – Frequent travelers who may be suffering from jet lag and crossing time zones, spending long hours behind the wheel or getting too little sleep.