SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The California Highway Patrol joins the National Sleep Foundation to promote Drowsy Driving Awareness Week, in an attempt to car accidents from “sleep deprived drivers.”
According to CHP, the state of California has witnessed an increase in collisions involving sleepy and fatigued drivers over the last three years.
- 2013 — 4,284 collisions, 28 deaths
- 2014 — 4,693 collisions, 44 deaths
- 2015 — 5,511 collisions, 45 deaths
“Most people are aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated, but many do not know that drowsiness also impairs judgment, performance, and reaction time just like alcohol and drugs,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “Teens and young adults are at the highest risk of drowsy driving, due to their chronic sleepiness and overall lack of driving experience.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is an estimated 100,000 collisions nationwide due to drowsy driving, Out of those collisions more than 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and an estimated $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
Here are some tips provided by the CHP to avoid drowsy driving.
- Get a good night’s sleep before a long drive
- Get off the road if you notice any signs of fatigue
- Take a nap. Exit the freeway, pull off the road and find a safe place to take a 15-20 minute nap
- Consume caffeine. The equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours, but DO NOT rely on it for long periods
- Drive with a friend. A passenger who remains awake can help watch for signs of fatigue in the driver and take a turn driving if necessary