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DROWSY DRIVING:. The other impaired driving. “Drowsy driving is the “third leg of impaired driving” - Colonel Tracy Trott, Tennessee Highway Patrol. Young are more at risk for drowsy driving. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported
DROWSY DRIVING: The other impaired driving
  • “Drowsy driving is the “third leg of impaired driving”
  • - Colonel Tracy Trott, Tennessee Highway Patrol
  • Young are more at risk for drowsy driving
  • AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported
  • Motorists ages 16-24 are more likely to drive while drowsy.
  • One in seven licensed drivers in that age group surveyed by AAA admitted to having nodded off behind the wheel at least once in the past year.
  • Less-experienced drivers tend to underestimate the risks of drowsy driving and overestimate their ability to deal with the problem.
  • Get a Room
  • Highest Risk
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that virtually all studies that analyzed crash data by gender and age group found that young people, and males in particular, were the most likely to be involved in fall-asleep crashes.
  • Young drivers (16-24) are twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash as drivers 40-59.
  • Thanks for asking
  • The maturing adolescent needs 9+ hours of sleep.
  • Many young people are unable to meet their physiologic sleep requirement because of changes in sleep patterns that reduce nighttime sleep or shift their “body clock”.
  • A convergence of influences can lead to insufficient sleep , especially a combination of schoolwork demands and part-time jobs, extracurricular activities and late-night socializing .
  • Inability to disconnect from electronics and social media has proven to be a primary sleep robber for young people.
  • Sleep is essential
  • Sleep is a primal need like food and water.
  • Sleep is essential in maintaining physical and emotional health.
  • Maturational changes in adolescents increase the need for sleep.
  • Sleep needs after adolescence does decrease, but not dramatically.
  • The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America yearly poll shows that Americans of all ages are getting less sleep and that sleep loss is adversely affecting nearly every aspect of their lives.
  • Optimal driving
  • Driving a motor vehicle is a divided attention task.
  • A driver must be alert, aware, and awake when operating a motor vehicle.
  • Driving requires sustained vigilance and the ability to make quick and good decisions.
  • A driver needs to be able to react to changing driving conditions.
  • It’s all in your head
  • The sleeping brain
  • Sleep deprivation & The Brain
  • Sleep deprivation has deleterious effects on brain function, especially those functions associated with the frontal lobe (involved in alertness, attention, and decision making) and the thalamus (involved in alertness and attention).
  • When neurocognitive functions become diminished it compromises an individual’s ability to respond in a timely manner to a stimulus (reaction time).
  • The impaired brain
  • Do you have to ingest something to become impaired?
  • Research has shown as continuous waking exceeds 16 hours, psychomotor performance deficits increase to levels equivalent to blood alcohol content (BAC) between 0.05 and 0.1%.
  • Sleep vs. wake
  • The drive to sleep is opposed by the drive to maintain wakefulness.
  • The drive or pressure to sleep increases with prolonged wakefulness.
  • When the pressure reaches a critical point sleep will occur even if the “body clock” is at peak rhythm.
  • This can occur in bed, at work or driving a motor vehicle.
  • Drowsy Driving Kills
  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in January 2013 that up to 33% of fatal crashes might involve a drowsy driver.
  • An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated 12.5% of fatal crashes, as most drivers drift out of their lanes or off the road.
  • Driving drowsy is a choice
  • A driver makes the choice to either drive drowsy or continue driving after becoming sleepy.
  • A drowsy driver is usually unable to gauge the degree of his/her sleepiness.
  • Choosing to drive drowsy isrecklessbehavior and a threat to public safety
  • Characteristics of a drowsy driving crash
  • Single Occupant.
  • Accidents often occur during slow rhythm of body clock – midafternoon or late night.
  • The driver does not attempt to avoid crashing – no report of brake lights or no skid marks.
  • Crashes often occur on high speed roadways.
  • The accidents will often result in serious injury or death.
  • Who’s at risk?
  • At risk for drowsy driving
  • Young Drivers, especially men under 26.
  • New Parents.
  • People working long shifts and/or more than 60 hours per week.
  • Shift Workers, especially Swing Shift Workers.
  • Long Haul Commercial Drivers.
  • Business Travelers that travel across time zones and suffer from “jet lag”.
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders that can cause excessive sleepiness.
  • Signs of drowsy driving
  • Fighting to stay awake
  • Frequent yawning and eye blinking
  • Forgetting the last few miles
  • Missing exits
  • Head bobbing up and down
  • Lane drifting/departures
  • Hitting the rumble strip or shoulder of the road
  • Preventing a drowsy driving crash
  • Plan your trip in advance and make sure you get adequate sleep.
  • Do not start a trip tired or sleepy.
  • Check to see if any medications you are taking causes drowsiness.
  • Do not mix alcohol and sleepiness.
  • Schedule regular stops (about every 100 miles or 2 hours).
  • During stops participate in some brisk activity to promote alertness.
  • If drowsy- stop, drink some caffeine, and take a 15-20 minute power nap.
  • If drowsiness continues – find lodging and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Drowsy driving is not an accident
  • Drowsy driving is a choice.
  • Drowsy driving is preventable
  • Drowsy driving is unacceptable
  • Drowsy driving endangers, injures and kills
  • Drowsy driving is IMPAIRED driving
  • Drowsy driving is NOT an accident
  • Questions?
  • If you have any questions about drowsy driving or how a sleep problem may affect your ability to drive, please e-mail
  • [email protected]
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