Posted Date: March 10, 2011
Because of the time change this weekend, some of you will be sleepy while driving to and from your trials on Sunday. Please take a moment to read about the dangers of drowsy driving.
Each year, drowsy drivers kill more than 1500 people. The Live to Run Again (LRA) campaign wants to change that statistic by educating the public and saving lives.
Sleep deprivation plays a big part in drowsy driving accidents. According to livetorunagain.org, "Drivers who start a trip with less than six hours of sleep triple their chances of a sleep-related crash." Agility competitors often drive to and from trials in a sleep-deprived state and are therefore at increased risk.
The critical decision for every driver is when to stop and take a break. It is important to stop driving when you begin to feel fatigue.
What are the signs of drowsy driving?
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering or disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
What should you do if you feel drowsy while driving?
- Pull off the road. Find a place to rest or sleep overnight and resume driving in the morning.
- Take a 15- to 20-minute power nap.
- Consume caffeine, but realize that it may take 30 minutes for caffeine to begin working.
- Take a "caffeine nap" by consuming caffeine and then taking a short nap.
- Resume driving only when you're awake and alert.
(From http://www.livetorunagain.org/Live_To_Run_Again/LST-_Take_Action.html; visit this page for more tips when you feel drowsy.)
The change to Daylight Savings Time, during which an hour is lost from the day, increases risk of a drowsy driving accident. Daylight Savings Time begins March 13th in the United States, so plan to get extra rest if you are traveling this weekend.
Visit the LRA website (www.livetorunagain.org) for key information on preventing drowsy driving.