No Drowsy Driving

A short nap can make the difference

Falling Asleep at the Wheel: Deadly Consequences

Posted by on Sep 27, 2014

Falling Asleep at the Wheel: Deadly Consequences

I could recite fact after fact about falling asleep at the wheel.  I could tell you that according to a study done by the CDC that 1 in 25 drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel during the last 30 days. I could also tell you that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they estimate that over 100,000 accidents each year are attributed to to drowsy driving and sleep deprivation. I could spew out fact after fact but facts are boring.  They don’t tell us the faces behind the 100,000 people who are impacted by falling asleep at the wheel.  Maybe you drive drowsy, exhausted from sleep deprivation, exhausted from a long day at work or from staying up all night with the baby. The truth is that everyone has days where they lack sleep. Late night party? Early morning meeting? Picking a friend up from the airport?  Getting a call at 2:00 am to pick up a drunk relative?  The list goes on… The first time my life was impacted by drowsy driver was when my sister-in-law, Kelly, was involved in an accident. Kelly was driving to work early one morning on a freeway that was divided by a grass median.  A driver coming home from a graveyard shift fell asleep, crossed the median and crashed head on into her car. Kelly was lucky - she lived. She walked away with her life but she also walked away with a broken leg and ankle. Seven years later, Kelly still has PTSD from the accident and her ankle never healed properly. One family dramatically impacted because of a person who was exhausted and sleep deprived decided to drive home.  Often times we don’t feel like we have a choice or we may be embarrassed to call a friend or family member. Drowsy driving is the equivalent of drunk driving.  It’s okay to admit that you are tired and you need help. You may feel you can combat drowsy driving by rolling down the window, grabbing a red bull and riding it out.  You may think that your choices will only impact yourself - until they don’t. 91 people died on Utah roads this summer due to drowsy driving from fatigue or distracted driving from cell phones. Reality check: drive drowsy and killing someone equals jail time. It’s a deadly consequence for the receiving person and...

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Drowsy Driving

Posted by on Sep 14, 2014

Drowsy Driving

In a world where we are constantly on the go, it is no wonder that drowsy driving related accidents are on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.5 % of fatal crashes are contributed to drowsy driving. This equates to thousands of fatalities each year.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, one in ten drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.  I believe this statistic is much higher than drivers are willing to admit. Distracted driving also plays a role, as drowsy driving is considered a form of distracted driving. Drowsy Driving Myths A common myth of drowsy driving is that the majority of these accidents are related to sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or even the overuse of sleep medicine such as Alluna or Zzzquill. Although sleep disorders and the use of sleep medicine do contribute to drowsy driving, the truth is that the highest cause of driving drowsy is simply driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is rampant in our society as we are constantly pushing ourselves to do more activities and take on more responsibilities. Between school, work and a four year old, I find that I am constantly in a state of exhaustion. Whether I am arriving home at 11:00 pm after school, waking up the next morning at 4:00 am to drive to work, or taking her to the lake on the weekends, I am constantly running the risk of driving drowsy. It is the small tasks that add up throughout the day that adds to the fatigue of a driver. Afternoon Drowsiness Afternoon drowsiness is also an important factor is combatting drowsy driving. After little sleep throughout the night, it’s easy to forget to pack a healthy lunch on the way to work. It’s easy to grab some fast food but the food tends to be high in sugar and fat, which leads to a temporary sugar rush and then crash afterwards. Driving is not recommended as it increases the chance of driving drowsy. A light lunch of some lean protein without any sugars and carbs will help keep decrease the afternoon drowsiness. Drowsy driving has also been compared to drunk driving.  Driving while drowsy slows down reaction time significantly. Drunk driving and driving drowsy are often mixed together because as a person drinks more alcohol, it increases the chance of an accident, especially if the person is already tired....

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