Houston, Tx (PRWEB) December 17, 2013
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 100,000 crashes due to drowsy driving which consequently results for nearly 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths each year. They also state that incidents related to drowsy driving may be under reported. Like all accidents, education and awareness is a fundamental tool.
Drowsy driving may be a result of lack of sleep or too many consecutive hours behind the wheel of a vehicle. To help avoid a situation where a driver finds that they are getting drowsy they should attempt a number of solutions to wake themselves. The most obvious is to get some rest before driving. This does not apply to only those who drive long distances, but it should also include individuals who may sit in congested traffic in the city. Paige, a student of the Texas defensive driving course Comedy Driving, states, “I only have a 45 minute commute going to and from work But I have caught myself nodding off as I just sit there when the traffic comes to a complete stop. It’s especially hard now with the shorter days.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports; those most likely to drive while being drowsy are commercial drivers, shift workers, sleep disorder individuals, those who use prescription medication, and drivers who simply do not get enough sleep. Some motorists, like Paige, must make the effort to rest adequately at night, and turn on the car radio to avoid falling asleep when driving. Talking on the phone or texting while driving is not recommended as an effort to stay awake because the individual would be performing a task that adds up to be just as or if not more perilous.
With the holidays here, some individuals will be driving longer distances than usual, and fatigue must be a concern. It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that individuals should pull over and rest for each 100 miles or every 2 hours traveled. This approach helps to keep the driver refreshed throughout the journey. One may also drink coffee or caffeinated beverages to stay observant and attentive. Slightly opening a window to let fresh air flow throughout the vehicle may also significantly help a driver to stay alert. Not only does fresh air help but it also creates noise in the vehicle that is a change to the silence inside the vehicle.
Night time driving poses much more danger to those individuals on the roadways. For example, visibility is considerably reduced, and it is also the time most are accustomed to sleeping, so the body will naturally want to rest. It may be necessary to make stops at night more frequently than a driver normally would during the day. Texas defensive driving course, Comedy Driving, recommends to also splash water on the individuals face that is driving. Obviously, not much water is needed, but if it is attainable, cold water works best. If there is more than one driver available, the individuals should rotate by taking turn as the driver. If all efforts seem to be failing, then the motorists should simply pull over at a rest stop, or hotel to get some rest. One should never try to pull over to the side of the road or highway to sleep as it would endanger the driver and other individuals in the vehicle.
Comedy Driving, Inc. teaches defensive driving for Texas and a 4-hour Basic Driver Improvement Course for the state of Florida.