Drowsy Driving on the Job

truck_twilight_shutterstock_63070159Fatigued or drowsy driving may be involved in more than 100,000 crashes each year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths.  Sadly, these numbers represent only the tip of the iceberg since these crashes are seriously under-reported.  These days, its more important than ever for employees to be well rested, alert and sober on the road so that they are in a position to defend themselves from drivers who do not make the same choice.  Train employees to make smart decisions when they are behind the wheel, on and off the job.

As a driver, your number one responsibility is to get yourself and your passengers to your destination safely.  When behind the wheel, you always need to be alert and focused.  At 55 mph, a vehicle travels the length of a football field in 3.7 seconds.  This is no time for a “mini” snooze.  Being an attentive driver, and looking out for the driver who isn’t, is increasingly important.  Drive focused.  Stay Safe.

Do you know when your driving drowsy? Some warning signs include:

  • You can’t remember the last few miles driven.
  • You hit a rumble strip or drift from your lane.
  • Your thoughts are wandering and disconnected.exhausted_driver_shutterstock_6488272
  • You yawn repeatedly.
  • You have difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.
  • You tailgate or miss traffic signs.
  • You keep pulling your vehicle back into the lane.

Drive Focused.  Stay Safe.  Avoid Aggressive Driving

  • Be  aware of your behavior and the behavior of others on the road during the late night, early morning, and mid afternoon hours when drowsy driving crashes are most likely to occur.  Plan a rest stop during these hours.
  • Get a full night of rest before driving.  If you become tired while driving, stop.  A short nap (15- 45 minutes) and consuming caffeine can help temporarily.
  • Stop at regular intervals when driving long distances.  Get out of the car every 2 hours to stretch and walk briskly.
  • Set a realistic goal for the number of miles you can safely drive each day.
  • Avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Employers Guide to Reducing Vehicle Crashes.” For more information, please visit www.trafficsafety.org.

 

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