Driving drowsy killed 5,000 in Related Crashes in 2015.
Picture this: You wake up at 6 A.M. get ready for work, get the kids off to school then head to work yourself. By the time you leave work at 5 P.M. You’ve been awake for almost 12 hours. Let’s also say that you went to bed at 11:30 P.M. the previous night after getting caught up watching “Stranger things” on Netflix. That’s only six and a half hours asleep (and let’s be real probably only six after you toss and turn trying to fall asleep for the first 30 minutes). Six and half hours out of 24 hours sleeping? Not a good ratio. The CDC thinks so, too.
A new repost recently released by the CDC showed that people who are getting a lack of sleep are the ones responsible for the growing number of drowsy drivers. Almost 84 million Americans have admitted to sleeping less than the seven to eight recommended hours of sleep a night. That means one in four drivers are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said that “It’s a much bigger problem than we realized, we’re not just drowsy; we’re literally falling asleep behind the wheel and crashing. We’re hurting ourselves and killing ourselves and others, it’s a serious safety problem.”
In a report with combined research from GHSA, AAA, NTSB and NHTSA, it’s said that an average of 328,000 drowsy-driving crashes occur on U.S. roads every year. 109,000 of those crashes caused injuries and 6,400 crashes led to death.
Driving drowsy can be compared to drunk driving. Reaction time and judgements are impaired. Most drowsy drivers are found to be teenagers and young adults. The report attests that to inexperience and biological changes. I would also attest it to the schedules of this age group. Most high schoolers start class around 7:30 AM and after school go straight to extra-curricular activities, then home to study until late, many not going to bed until very late. This cycle of little sleep would obviously relate to their elevated levels of drowsy driving.
Adkins from GHSA says, “Drowsy driving is a sign of the times. Americans work too hard, do not take breaks and never let their minds shut down.” The NTSB even put driving drowsy on their list of “most-wanted transportation safety improvements.”
So What do the Experts Say To Keep Focused and Awake While Driving?
- Keep the radio on
- Open your windows
- Have stopping points during long drives.
If you become fatigued while driving, we recommend pulling off the road to a safe area, either a rest stop or parking lot and take a short nap to regain energy.
Source: ABC News