You’ve been there before, driving and struggling to keep your eyes open. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. When you are tired or fatigued, your reaction time, coordination, and vision all suffer.
In 2009, 2.5% (832) of fatal crashes in the United States were reported to involve drowsy driving. And 1.3% (72,000) of all injury crashes in 2009 had reports involving drowsy drivers.
(NHTSA – Traffic Safety Facts Crash Stats: Drowsy Driving)
So what can you do to combat drowsy driving before it begins?
- Get enough sleep regularly.
- Keep your eyes moving and continually scan the roadway to avoid ‘highway hypnosis’.
- Regulate the temperature in the car. Don’t let it get too warm. Open a window and get some fresh air moving.
- Take breaks. Get out of the car and move around.
Remember, if you start to feel fatigued behind the wheel, the best thing to do is to pull over in a safe place and get some rest.
In 2012 roughly 92 people died in motor vehicle crashes each day according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 30% of these deaths involved speed-related traffic crashes.
Speeding is generally viewed as dangerous driving behavior, but this doesn’t seem to keep 75% of drivers from speeding regularly. The most common forms of speeding are driving too fast for the conditions, driving above the posted speed limit and racing. For every 10 mph over 50 mph that a vehicle travels, the chance of death or serious injury doubles.
Most of the time, we are speeding to save time. The truth is we don’t save as much time as we would like to think. If you were traveling at 65 mph over 20 miles instead of 55 mph you would save only about three and a half minutes! And if speeding doesn’t lead to a collision, you may still end up with ticket which is a whole other set of problems to deal with.
So, next time you’re tempted to put the pedal to the medal, ask yourself… “Is it worth it?”