During Drowsy Driving Prevention Week happening all this week, safe-driving advocates have been taking their message to streets in an effort to cut down on sleepy drivers who are causing traffic accidents in Maine and other states nationwide. My FOX Maine is reporting that more than 30 percent of drivers have admitted to driving while drowsy over a recent 30-day period, even though 95 percent of drivers surveyed said drowsy driving is unacceptable.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the National Sleep Foundation are using the campaign to help raise awareness about drowsy driving car accidents in Portland and elsewhere. These accidents take the lives of about 1,550 people and injure another 70,000 every year, running up a tab of nearly $13 billion.
Our Maine car accident attorneys understand the risks and consequences that come with drowsy driving. Statistics reveal that drowsy drivers contribute to about one out of every six fatal accidents and about one in eight injury-resulting accidents. We invite you to join the prevention week’s efforts and help educate your loved ones about the dangers and consequences of this dangerous driving habit. These accidents are 100 percent preventable.
“Drowsy driving kills, just as sure as drunk, drugged and distracted driving does,” AAA Foundation president and CEO Peter Kissinger said in a foundation. “Drivers have a tendency to underestimate the impact being tired has on their driving ability.”
How to tell if you’re too drowsy to drive:
-Are you feeling irritable, aggressive or restless?
-Are you having trouble keeping your head up?
-Are you having trouble keeping your eyes open?
-Can you clearly remember the last few miles driven?
-Are you daydreaming?
-Are you yawning excessively?
-Are you blinking a lot?
-Are you overlooking traffic lights, road signs, exit or turns?
-Are you having a tough time focusing on the roadway?
-Are you swerving in and out of your lane?
To help reduce the risks of falling asleep at the wheel, you’re urged to get at least seven hours of sleep before setting out on a long car ride. You should also ride with a passenger, make frequent stops to get out and stretch, and travel at times when you’d normally be awake.
If you fail to acknowledge the warning signs listed above, you’re putting yourself and other drivers at risk for falling asleep at the wheel. Oftentimes sleepy drivers fall into 3- or 4-second periods of microsleep. This is time when drivers are actually asleep at the wheel. A vehicle can travel the length of a football field during this short amount of time and can wind up in a pretty messy accident.
“We need to change the culture so that drivers recognize the dangers, appreciate the consequences and most importantly, stop driving while sleepy,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger.
Contact the Maine injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates if you or someone you love has been injured in a drowsy driving-related car accident in Bangor, Portland or in any of the surrounding areas. Call 1-800-804-2004 to make a free appointment to speak to an attorney about your case.
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