Many millions of U.S. drivers will be hitting the road this summer, and some of them may be nodding off behind the wheel.
Associated Press is reporting on a new government survey showing that 1 in 25 adults say they recently fell asleep while driving.
The government estimates about 3 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve drowsy drivers, but other estimates have put the number as high as ONE THIRD of all fatal accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest drowsy driving report last week, along with these tips on how to stay awake:
· Get enough sleep the night before.
· Avoid alcohol and other sedatives before driving.
· Break up the drive with naps, coffee breaks or a change of drivers.
· Avoid driving late at night or very early in the morning, when your body is telling you that you should still be in bed.
· If you notice yourself beginning to doze, pull over immediately.
And here are some warning signs that you (or your spouse) should pay attention to: Frequent yawning, drifting from your lane or driving over a shoulder rumble strip, missing exit or traffic signs, and difficulty remembering the last few miles driven.
By the way, the concern about drowsy driving doesn’t just apply to long road trips. If you work a night-shift or frequently get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, you could be an accident waiting to happen.
For more information—and some additional tips on avoiding becoming a tragic statistic—go to drowsydriving.org.I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.