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November 12-18 is Drowsy Driver Prevention Week

Posted on November 14, 2012

Drowsy Driver Prevention Week is November 12-18, and the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is launching its annual public awareness campaign to educate the public about the risks of driving while drowsy and the countermeasures we all can take to improve safety on the road.

A recent NSF survey found some disturbing trends among transportation workers: many complained that sleepiness has caused safety problems on the job. Twenty percent of pilots admitted that they have made serious errors, and 18 percent of train operators and 14 percent of truck drivers say they have had “near misses” due to sleepiness.

Frighteningly, a recent study released by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) found that younger drivers are more likely to drive drowsy than older drivers. One in seven licensed drivers age 16-24 admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the past year. In the overall driving population, one in 10 drivers confessed to falling asleep during the same time period.

In 2010, AAA analyzed U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data and found that young drivers age 16-24 were 78 percent more likely to be drowsy at the time of a crash than drivers age 40-59. The analysis also revealed that as many as one in six fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver.

Ironically, while eight out of 10 people view drowsy driving as a serious threat to their safety, some 30 percent of drivers admitted that they had struggled to stay awake behind the wheel of their vehicles sometime in the past 30 days.

“Unfortunately, most drivers underestimate the risks associated with drowsy driving and overestimate their ability to deal with it — that’s a dangerous combination,” said AAA Foundation President & CEO Peter Kissinger.

Driving while fatigued or sleepy can seriously impact driving ability and be the cause of injuries and deaths on Florida’s roads and highways. That’s why personal injury attorney Eddie Farah urges all drivers to play it smart and not to drive while drowsy. If you are sleepy while on the road, pull over and rest. That simple act may save your life and the lives of others.