Archive for January, 2010

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Shows 17% of Fatal Car Crashes due to Drowsy Driving

January 2, 2010

study AAA Foundation Traffic Safety fatal car crashes drowsy driving Idaho State Police impaired driving dangerous on the road recovery falling asleep crashing your vehicle Cleared2Drive Good2GoA new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows close to 17% of all fatal car crashes are the result of drowsy driving.  Idaho State Police Captain Lonnie Richardson said drowsy driving is as dangerous as any other distracted or impaired driving.

“Drowsy drivers are very dangerous on the road,” said Richardson. “It’s bad enough people driving down the road changing the stereo, or gawking out the window looking at the scenery, which causes the vehicle to drift off. Under those circumstances the driver can usually recover.”

But Richardson said the recovery from falling asleep is not so easy. “In a drowsy situation, someone generally falls asleep,” said Richardson. “And when they wake up they are naturally frightened. The natural reaction is to jerk right or left. When that happens, the laws of gravity and the laws of momentum are going to dictate that vehicle is generally going to roll over on them.”

Richardson said drivers should stop when they start to feel drowsy. Even a short nap can help make sure you arrive safely.  “If you find yourself at all tired, pull over, find a rest area, find a nice location where you can pull over and take a 30 minute nap,” said Richardson. “Just a 30 minute nap will refresh you enough to keep you from probably crashing your vehicle.”

The survey also showed a quarter of the respondents admit to driving during the previous month while being so tired they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.  Just as it detects impairment from drugs or alcohol, Cleared2Drive also detects impairment from sleep deprivation or extreme fatigue.  As all equally dangerous.

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