This year, National Sleep Awareness Week will be observed March 11–17, 2018. While a specific Drowsy Driving Awareness Week will be held in November 2018, it is important to consider why sleep is so important to an individual’s personal health and to public safety now.
While it is difficult to measure just how many drivers who are involved in car accidents are fatigued, the federal government estimates that drowsy driving causes hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries every year.
Many of These Fatalities and Injuries Can Be Prevented
Drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers. Even if they do not fall asleep while driving their reflexes and decision making skills may be impaired. Accordingly, in order to prevent drowsy driving accidents, it is important to consider what can be done to make sure that drivers are well rested during National Sleep Awareness Week and throughout the year.
You can use National Sleep Awareness Week to:
- Talk to your doctor if you snore, feel tired during the day, have difficulty sleeping, or exhibit any other symptoms of a potential sleep disorder.
- Talk to your doctor about any medications that you are taking. Drowsiness can be a medication side effect. Your doctor may be able to change the time of day that you take your medication or prescribe a different medication if you are feeling tired while you are behind the wheel.
- Develop good sleeping habits. It is important to have a comfortable place to sleep that is free of distractions, to develop a routine for what you do right before going to bed, and to go to sleep and to wake up at approximately the same times every day. Adults generally need a minimum of seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period to feel rested.
Drowsy driving accidents don’t have to happen. You do not need to put yourself or anyone else at risk. Instead, you can use this time to make changes in your own life and to encourage your loved ones to do the same so that fewer drowsy driving crashes happen on Wisconsin roads.