It’s the time of the year when spring is at our doorstep and the clocks move one hour ahead on Sunday morning.
On March 6 the National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. introduced, Recognizing the Drowsy Driver, as part of one its newest free driver education programs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver fatigue is responsible for more than 100,000 crashes every year, resulting in at least 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than $12 billion in losses.
Drowsiness, a condition most drivers fail to recognize, can be as dangerous as drinking and driving, said David Reich, public relations director for the National Road Safety Foundation.
Studies show 60 percent of us have driven while feeling sleepy and more than a third admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year”, he added.
According to experts, there are several signs that one should look out for as indication that a driver should stop and rest they include among others; Difficulty focusing with frequent blinking, Daydreaming or not remembering the last few miles driven, Head nodding, Repeated yawning or rubbing eyes and Drifting out of your lane, tailgating or hitting rumble strips.
The foundation recommends the driver pull over in safe are and take a break or a 20 minute nap and have a cup or two of coffee giving 30 minutes for the coffee to enter the bloodstream.
Drivers should never take medication or drink alcohol.
According to the foundation, sleep-induced crashes are often very serious, since the driver does not take evasive or corrective action as the vehicle loses control.
National Road Safety Foundation has for more than 40 years produced films and teaching materials that have been used to train millions of young drivers.
The most recent program, Recognizing the Drowsy Driver, as well as others on drinking and driving and speed and aggression is available for free by downloading at www.nationalroadsafety.org or by calling tollfree 1-866-SAFEPATH.