FDOT recently teamed up with safety advocates for Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, September 1–7, in memory of Ronshay Dugans, who was killed by a drowsy driver in 2008. FDOT, Drowsy Driving Florida, and law enforcement held events in Tallahassee and Tampa at local rest areas to give away coffee and raise awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving and driver fatigue.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, close to a third of American drivers admit that they have nodded off behind the wheel, while more than half of drivers confessed to driving sleepy. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths.
Here are some tips to prevent drowsy driving from the Florida Highway Patrol:
- Allow plenty of time to get to your final destination.
- Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
- Drink caffeine. Two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you travel.
- Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.
- Take a nap—find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap, if you think you might fall asleep.
- Use the buddy system, switch drivers when needed.