The Governors Highway Safety Association reports 83.6 million Americans are driving sleep-deprived every day and that 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy driving incidents in 2015.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the estimated annual societal cost of fatigue-related fatal and injury crashes is $109 billion, not including property damage. Some vehicles today are equipped with technology that can detect when a driver is about to nod off and deliver a warning signal. The best advice is to learn the signs of drowsiness – head-bobbing, yawning, etc. You are still your vehicle’s best safety feature. If you’re tired, pull over.
Three more ideas to share at your workplace:
- Take a nap (20 minutes of sleep can alleviate feelings of drowsiness, at least temporarily)
- Drink a caffeinated beverage (coffee or cola)
- Schedule travel breaks
— Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council