The awareness this week is on drowsy driving.
Baltimore, Md (KM). On Sunday,. we turned our clocks ahead by one hour signaling the beginning of Daylight Savings Time at 2:00 AM. In the process we lost one hour of sleep that night.
As our bodies get used to the changeover, the Maryland State Highway Administration is reminding motorists about the dangers of drowsy driving. “Now nearly everyone has had an occasion where they’ve nodded off at the wheel and can assess to just how dangerous that is,” says SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar. “MDOT SHA is urging motorists to get plenty of rest.”
The National Sleep Foundation says drowsy driving causes 72,000 vehicle crashes each year, and a sleepy driver is just as dangerous as one whose driving while drunk.
“Some warning signs of drowsy driving is yawning and blinking frequently, difficulty remembering the past few miles driving, missing an exit or a turn, drifting from your lane and hitting rumble strips on the side of the roadway,” says Gischlar.
He says one way to prevent drowsy driving is the get plenty of sleep because losing missing one to two hours of sleep increase the risk of a crash. “Plan travel accordingly. Crashes involving drowsy driving usually occur in the early morning hours, after lunch or extremely late at night,” says Gischlar. “Allow ample time between taking medication that makes you drowsy and operating a motor vehicle.”
Also, he says, avoid alcohol, exercise, have a passenger with you to talk with while driving and take a pre-trip nap. “If you’re out on the roadway and you start to feel drowsy, immediately pull to safe location such as a park-ride, and take a brisk walk or a brief nap,” says Gischlar.
Sunday, March 11th starts Sleep Awareness Week.
By Kevin McManus