This week, friends don’t let friends drive drowsy: Nov. 10-16 is the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The National Sleep Foundation reports that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunken driving because “like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of crashing.”
But even though sleep deprivation impairs a driver as much as being legally drunk (0.08 blood alcohol concentration), three out of every five adult drivers have driven while drowsy, according to a 2005 poll. More than a third reported actually falling asleep at the wheel.
Thanks to widespread public education campaigns and law enforcement efforts over the last 20 years, the rate of drunken driving fatalities has dropped off. But we need renewed focus on the many other dangerous driving behaviors that should also be avoided while driving, especially speeding, talking on a cell phone and driving drowsy.
Readers can visit www.negligentdriving.com to learn about these increasingly dangerous behaviors.
Managing director, American Beverage Institute