It’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in Florida, and troopers are spreading the word on how to prevent deadly consequences.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates that 3,991 reported crashes in Florida involved drowsy drivers last year.
“Whether you are driving a vehicle with two wheels or 18, driving while drowsy is a poor decision that can lead to deadly consequences,” said Col. Gene Spaulding, director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
The FLHSMV is urging drivers to safely pull off the road and take a break if they are having difficulty focusing, yawning repeatedly or drifting into other lanes.
“Drowsy driving poses more of a threat than most realize,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry Rhodes. “Missing just a couple hours of sleep can significantly increase a driver’s crash risk, putting the lives of those on our roadways in danger. No matter how far your destination may be, driving drowsy is never worth the risk.”
FLHSMV offers the following advice to prevent drowsy driving:
Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep. Get enough rest before you drive. On long trips, take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Allow plenty of time to travel to your destination.
If you start feeling tired while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a nap if you can.
Use the “buddy system” and switch drivers when needed.
Read the warning information on all medications you take. Do not operate a motor vehicle after taking medications that cause drowsiness.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week was legislated to educate on the dangers of drowsy driving and honor the memory of Ronshay Dugans, who was killed in 2008 when her school bus was hit by a cement-truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel.
Don’t drive drowsy. https://t.co/LAd0bllAD1 pic.twitter.com/R7wawWoVsi
— FLHSMV (@FLHSMV) September 5, 2022