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Two out of five drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel

If someone were to ask you whether drowsy driving was dangerous, what would you say? Is it dangerous just to yawn? Is it dangerous when you have to listen to loud music to keep yourself awake? It is likely that most people in Lake Charles would say that once you start to fall asleep behind the wheel it is definitely dangerous, but the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that any drowsy driving can cause serious car accidents.

The AAA recently completed its Drowsy Driving Prevention Week earlier this month, reminding drivers in Louisiana and across the country of the risks surrounding driving while tired. In conjunction with its prevention week, the AAA shared information from a 2010 study and its 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index. One of the most shocking statistics is that two-fifths of drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point in their lives and one-tenth have done so in the past year.

Despite these high numbers, approximately 82 percent of the drivers surveyed thought it was reckless and dangerous for someone to drive when he or she couldn’t keep their eyes open. This means that many of the people who have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel recognize that their actions were careless and risky.

The Index also revealed that within the last month approximately one-third of drivers had driven when they were tired enough that they had trouble keeping their eyes open.

Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous and tired drivers put all motorists’ lives at risk by driving. With the upcoming holiday season, it is likely that many people will insist on driving while tired to make it to a relative’s home, to get to a holiday sale, or to return home after a long evening out with family or friends. Since drowsy driving can impair a driver’s judgment, decrease his or her awareness, and slow reaction times, motorists will need to watch out for drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.

Source: Maricopa Monitor, “Arizona view: A wake-up call,” Linda Gorman, Nov. 12, 2011

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