Stay Awake, Stay Alive! Don't Drive Drowsy.
What is Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving includes falling asleep while driving or simply not paying attention while driving. Drowsy driving is a result of fatigue or lack of sleep.
High school and college students are at high risk for sleep deprivation. Drivers under the age of 25 are involved in more than one-half of all crashes in which drivers have fallen asleep.
As Dangerous as Driving Drunk?
Driving while sleep deprived can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Research shows drowsy driving is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the legal limit for intoxication. If you are sleep deprived get a ride from a safe driver.
Recognize the Warning Signs
If you experience any of the following, pull over in a well-lit rest area and take a 20-minute nap or switch with a licensed driver.
- Drifting from lane to lane
- Yawning repeatedly
- Difficultly keeping your eyes open or focused
- Cannot remember the last few miles driven
- Tailgating or missing traffic signals
If You Are Young You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep
You need more sleep than you're probably getting. You need an average of 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night for good health and sound reasoning.
However, because of a busy social life, school, part-time jobs, late night television, Internet, and cell phone use, you get less sleep than anyone else. This leads to sleep deficit that puts you at risk.
Don't Become A Statistic!
Use These Tips to Stay Awake While Driving:
- Your best bet is to get enough sleep every day. If not, take naps. If you feel drowsy while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a 20-minute nap.
- Make regular stops. You should stop every 100 miles or 2 hours. Better yet, switch drivers, if possible.
- Caffeine won't solve the problem. It only provides a "pick me up", takes 30 minutes to take effect, and wears off quickly.
- Avoid alcohol. Not only is drinking and driving illegal, alcohol slows your reflexes and makes you sleepy.
For more information
on getting better sleep and drowsy driving visit these Web sites:
- New York State Department of Health
- National Sleep Foundation
- New York State Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
- National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
- National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration
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State of New York
Department of Health
Publication 3069, Revision 6/12