Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week is a far-reaching public awareness campaign developed to educate young drivers, their parents and others about drowsy driving and its prevention. The campaign aims to put drowsy driving in the headlights of parents, young people, teachers, school administrators, employers, and the media.

November 10-16, 2008, marks the National Sleep Foundation’s second annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™, a national campaign to educate young drivers and the public about the dangers of driving while sleepy.

Drowsy driving is a prevalent national public health and safety problem. Research has identified its principal causes, special at-risk populations, and effective countermeasures. It’s time for broad collaborative action to reduce drowsy driving and its serious consequences. DDPW is the beginning of such an effort.

Many people do not realize how sleepy they are, but driving requires a set of skills that are significantly reduced when you are sleep deprived. Studies show that drowsiness can cause:

  • slower reaction time
  • impaired judgment and vision
  • decline in attention to important signs, road changes and the actions of other vehicles
  • decreased alertness, preventing you from seeing an obstacle and avoiding a crash
  • increased moodiness and aggressive behavior
  • problems with processing information and short-term memory
  • microsleeps—brief 2/3 second sleep episodes

Like alcohol and drugs, sleep loss or fatigue impairs driving skills such as hand-eye coordination, reaction time, vision, awareness of surroundings, decision-making, judgment, and inhibition.

According to NSF surveys, half of Americans consistently report that they have driven drowsy and approximately 20% admit that they have actually fallen asleep at the wheel in the previous year.

Drowsy driving among teens is common. More than half of teens (51%) admit to having driven drowsy in the past year, and 15% at least once per week. This proportion increases as teens get older: among drivers, 62% of 11th graders and 68% of 12th graders reported driving while drowsy within the last year. (NSF’s 2006 Sleep in America poll)

Find more at https://drowsydriving.org/

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