The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Good Morning America did a report this morning on a Florida police officer that was fired after her onboard cam captured her veering all over the road, nearly clipping pedestrians and even hitting parked cars. Was the officer drunk behind the wheel? Nope, just tired.

You’d think that out of anyone on the road, a police offer could simply shake off the sleepiness and maintain control of the vehicle. You’d just have to open a window, or turn on the radio, right? Wrong! In fact, a survey conducted on drivers involved in sleep-related driving incidents showed the majority of drivers opened their windows and adjusted the radio, but still fell asleep behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is impaired driving.

Turns out drowsy driving is dangerous, and a lot more widespread than previously thought. In that ABC report, 60% of us admit doing it, and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel! Nearly 2,000 Americans die each year in 56,000 drowsy driving accidents (NTSA). Those are scary figures, but they might not adequate depict how many people are actually involved in these types of incidents. A 2007 report from the National Sleep Foundation that says fatigued driving is largely unrecognized and unreported across the country.

It is also a big factor in many accidents involving big trucks and other types of commercial vehicles. Even with rules in place to limit a driver’s on-the-road time, many find themselves under pressure to sleep less and drive more.

 

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