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May 2019
Program and Wellness Specialist

Safe Communities of Wood County Update

Safe Communities of Wood County wants to remind you that driving drowsy can be as deadly as driving drunk.

As the darkness of winter season continues into the start of 2019, Safe Communities wants to remind you it’s essential to make sure you are always aware and alert while driving. Drowsy driving can be deadly so: Take a Break. Drive Awake.

Everyone is vulnerable to the stress of life and lack of sleep. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is far too prevalent and is estimated to contribute to as many of 1.2 million collisions and 5,000 to 8,000 fatalities per year. Adults typically need 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night to be well rested and ready for the road; however, there are periods in the day, regardless of the previous night’s sleep, when people are most likely to feel sleepy: mid-afternoon (2pm-6pm) and from midnight till 6 am. Spread the message: sleep is the only remedy for drowsy driving.

The warning signs of drowsy driving include:

o Having trouble keeping your eyes open and focused or the inability to keep your head up

o Daydreaming or having wandering, disconnected thoughts

o Drifting from your lane or off the road, or tailgating

o Yawning frequently or rubbing your eyes repeatedly

o Missing or not remembering signs of your intended turn or exit or how far you have traveled

o Being unable to remember how far you have traveled, or landmarks you have passed

If Driving While Drowsy – Take a Break. Drive Awake.

• Sleep is the only remedy for drowsy driving

• Rolling down the window, turning up the radio or AC, or drinking a caffeinated beverage is not enough to stave off drowsiness.

• Take a break to recharge with exercise. Physical activity such as a brisk walk or moving around gives a natural boost of energy. On long trips, schedule breaks every 2 hours or 100 miles to stretch and move around.• Do not drive alone. Vehicles in which the driver is accompanied by a passenger are nearly 50% less likely to be involved in a drowsy-driving-related crash.

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