37% of people fall asleep while driving

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That is an outcome of  a study conducted in North America. This proves that driving drowsy is almost as bad as driving drunk as one out of every six car crashes is reported to be a result of a fatigued driver. With my oldest child in the process of learning to drive and ultimately getting his learner's license, this adds to more things to worry about. Not only will be be constantly having the "that SMS can wait"  and "if you're are at a party and aren't sure if the friend that's driving has been drinking, phone home" phone home talks we now have to enter into new conversations about tiredness and driving.

"We know from experimental studies that just four hours of sleep loss will produce as much impairment as a six-pack of beer," said Christopher Drake, an associate scientist at the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Centre in Detroit as quoted in this article.

For years, I've always tried to remind hubby, particularly when he travels on business, to take a break from driving when he needs it. We've had instance where he's had to drive to and from a conference or convention. My rules for him are always to stretch out and relax at garages.

Here are the warning signs of fatigue when driving from the Arrive Alive organisation:

 

  • When you can't remember the last few kilometres you've driven.
  • Drifting from your lane.
  • Trouble keeping one's head up.
  • Yawning repeatedly.
  • Constantly having to jerk car back into your lane.
When you've recognised these smptoms of tiredness, they recommend you do the following:
  • Don't count on the radio, open window or traffic lights to keep you awake.
  • Pull into a safe place, i.e hotel to stay the night instead of risking your life and driving right through. They also recommend pulling off into a safe side of the road and taking a 15 -45 minute nap.
  • Drink coffee or an energy drink if needed.
All in all I encourage my family to get the best sleep they can on their Sealy beds. And advise the same to my friends and to you too. If you feel tired, please don't drive.

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