Did you know that drowsy driving claims more than 6,400 lives annually in the U.S.? According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), driving while fatigued makes you three times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle-related crash. As we observe Drowsy Driving Prevention Week from Nov. 6-13, it's crucial to raise awareness and reduce the number of sleep-deprived drivers on the road as these tragic accidents can be easily prevented.

Shift workers, frequent business travelers, and long-haul commercial drivers are particularly at risk. Those with untreated obstructive sleep apnea face up to seven times the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, warns the NSF. Recognizing the signs of fatigue, such as frequent yawning, trouble keeping eyes open, and missing exits, is essential in preventing potential accidents.

Here are some tips from NSF to minimize the risk of drowsy driving:

  1. Ensure you get seven to nine hours of sleep before hitting the road.
  2. Travel in pairs to have a companion who stays alert and engages in conversation.
  3. Take breaks every 100 miles or every two hours to refresh yourself.
  4. Avoid alcohol before driving and be aware of medication side effects.

Notably, older adults with sleep apnea or undiagnosed sleep apnea symptoms may exhibit risky driving behaviors, as revealed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis. Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, often causing snoring. Their study, involving 96 adults aged 65 and older, found that even a slight increase in breathing interruptions (by just eight per hour) significantly raised the risk of risky driving behaviors and thus serious motor vehicle injury.

As we navigate our busy lives, let's prioritize road safety. By sharing information and implementing preventive measures, we can collectively make a difference. Stay alert, stay safe! To learn more about drowsy driving and encouraging best practices for your business, reach out to an agent at Diversified.

DII is your partner in all things related to safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand best safety practices to incorporate into your everyday business practices or culture. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #November #DrowsyDriving

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