CINCINNATI, Oh. (July 9, 2019) – Amid reports of a semi-truck driver causing a crash due to falling asleep at the wheel, AAA is sending a reminder to all motorists about the dangers of drowsy driving.
According to AAA’s recent Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI) survey, an analysis of drivers’ attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety, over 96% of drivers view drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous. Additionally, 29 percent admitted to driving when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended minimum of seven hours daily.
“Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokeswoman. “It is critical that all drivers are fully rested before getting behind the wheel as missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash, which is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
The percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. However, the difficulty in detecting drowsiness following a crash makes drowsy driving one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.
Knowing the warning signs of drowsiness can help drivers avoid dozing off behind the wheel.
Symptoms of sleepiness include but are not limited to:
- Having trouble keeping your eyes open and focused
- The inability to keep your head up
- Daydreaming or having wandering, disconnected thoughts
- Drifting from your lane or off the road, or tailgating
- Yawning frequently or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
- Missing signs or driving pas your intended exit
- Feeling irritable and restless
- Being unable to remember how far you have traveled or what you recently passed
To remain alert and avoid drowsiness, AAA suggests:
- Getting plenty of sleep the night before a long trip
- Travel at times when you are normally awake and staying overnight rather than driving straight through
- Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
- Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
- Avoid heavy foods while traveling
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.