Drowsy driving: a common problem
BARSTOW • Drowsy Driving Prevention Week begins on Sunday, and California Highway Patrol officials hope to provide education about the risks of driving while drowsy, according to a news release.
Drowsy driving is an “under-reported risk,” the release states, and CHP officers advise motorists to pull over at a safe location and get some rest if needed while driving.
“If you are tired and feel yourself falling asleep, stop driving,” CHP spokesman Don Spiker said. “In approximately five percent of all our traffic collisions, fatigue is an associated factor. Falling asleep for four seconds means a vehicle traveling at 70 miles per hour is traveling well over the length of a football field. Think of all the hazards a person can encounter over that distance.”
The annual campaign is also designed to provide the public with counter measures to improve road safety.
According to the release, to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, motorists should consider these tips:
• Get a good night’s sleep before driving, usually between seven to nine hours.
• Allow extra time to get to your destination.
• Avoid driving long distances alone.
• Take breaks every 100 miles or two hours.
• Do not work all day and then drive all night.
• Avoid driving at times when you normally sleep.
The three groups considered to be a high risk of driving while drowsy are individuals ages 16 through 29, those who work night shifts or extended hours and those with untreated sleep disorders.
Jose Quintero can be reached at 760-256-4122 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com.