Nodding Off a Problem With Younger Drivers - While it’s often believed that older drivers create more problems on the road, according to AAA, younger drivers are more likely to drive while drowsy. The results of a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that about 14 percent of licensed drivers age 16-24 said they had nodded off at least once while driving in the past year, compared to ten percent of all licensed drivers. Find out about other dealer services at Alexandria Chevrolet. The findings are similar to the results of a 2010 AAA Foundation study of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data that concluded that drivers age 16-24 were 78 percent more likely to be drowsy at the time of a crash as drivers age 40-59. The study also found that that nearly 17 percent of deadly crashes involved a driver who was drowsy, making it one of the leading factors contributing to automobile crashes.
In some ways, driving while drowsy is similar to driving while drunk. “Research shows that fatigue impairs safe driving, with many symptoms causing drivers to behave in ways similar to those who are intoxicated,” said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet. “In preparation for the holiday driving season and with many young drivers heading home for Thanksgiving break, AAA is drawing attention to this often overlooked crash risk that is a serious threat to everyone’s safety on the road.
“Unfortunately, most drivers underestimate the risks associated with drowsy driving and overestimate their ability to deal with it—that’s a dangerous combination,” said AAA Foundation President & CEO Peter Kissinger. Hyundai Dealer Washington DC offers value and service for all your automotive needs. In fact, the recent study showed that while 80 percent of people consider drowsy drivers to be a serious threat to their own personal safety, many of them confessed to driving while they were extremely drowsy. In fact, a full 30 percent of licensed drivers said that in the past 30 days, they had driven while they were so tired, they had to fight to stay awake.
Drivers who get behind the wheel while they’re sleepy or tired can find their driving ability significantly impacted, with slower reaction times, impaired vision, and lapses in judgment. While drivers may not always be able to recognize when they are becoming tired while driving, signs of drowsy driving include: road hypnosis – difficulty remembering the last miles driven or missing traffic signs exits, trouble keeping your eyes open and focused, frequent yawning or repeatedly rubbing your eyes, drifting from your lane or off the road, and daydreaming or having wandering, disconnected thoughts.
If you experience any of these drowsy driving symptoms, find a safe place to pull over. To stay alert and safe while driving, AAA recommends the following: Get at least 7 hours of sleep the night before a long trip. For long trips, take a break every two hours or every 100 miles. If possible, travel with a companion and share the driving. Avoid driving during times you’d usually be sleeping. Avoid eating heavy foods. Don’t take medications that might cause drowsiness or dizziness. Nissan Arlington has knowledgeable and friendly staff for whatever you are looking for. To highlight the dangers of drowsy driving, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 12-18, 2012 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. The annual campaign provides information about the dangers of driving while drowsy and supplies resources designed to help prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel if they haven’t had proper sleep. For more information about drowsy driving, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s drowsy driving website at www.DrowsyDriving.org.
Photos (top to bottom) courtesy of Arizona Dept. of Public Safety, Utah Dept. of Public Safety, US Dept. of Transportation.
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