Nov 8, 2010 10:30 AM by Nichole Larkey
Opelousas, LA - Most young people know about the hazards of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but many are unaware of the dangerous effects of sleepiness behind the wheel. Chronic sleepiness puts teens and young adults at high risk of drowsy driving - 55% of all fall-asleep crashes involve drivers aged 25 years and younger.
This sobering statistic prompted the National Sleep Foundation to take action and launch Drowsy Driving Prevention WeekTM, a new public awareness and advocacy campaign designed to educate young drivers, their parents and others about drowsy driving and how to prevent a fall-asleep crash.
The second annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week will take place November 8th - 12th, following the change back from Daylight Saving Time. The National Sleep Foundation along with Opelousas General Health System Sleep Disorders Center urges young drivers and all Americans - especially those who are sleep-deprived - to take advantage of the time change and get an extra hour of sleep. Always remember to: Drive Alert...Arrive Alive!
Come by OGHS' main lobby and visit the Sleep Center Staff during the week of November 8th. Get valuable information regarding:
1. Statistics on fall asleep crashes
2. Who's at risk for drowsy driving
3. Key warning signs telling you when you are too tired to drive
How to prevent a fall-asleep crash
"When I drive and notice all of the crosses along the road side and realize that each cross represents at least one driver who did not arrive home alive, it makes you think. Knowing the suffering those families go through for something that could have been avoided makes it important for us to be aware of the steps we can each take to keep our families safe," said Sleep Medicine physician, J.Y. Bordelon, M.D., Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police reported crashes each year are caused primarily by drowsy driving and that such crashes result in more than 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
For more information about the National Sleep Foundation's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week and how to prevent it, visit www.DrowsyDriving.org.