Local News

Drowsy Drivers Make Roads Dangerous For All

Posted December 20, 1999

— The long hours you are putting in at work could make you a dangerous driver. UNC researchers say tired drivers are a risk to themselves and to everyone else on the road.

At a Washington, D.C. news conference Tuesday, UNC researchers releasedthe results of a studyinvolving 1,400 North Carolina drivers.

Their findings include:

  • Drivers who work night shifts, long hours or two jobs showed the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Other high-risk drowsy driving behavior includes driving between midnight and 6 a.m. and sleeping less than six hours a night.

    David Willis, Foundation for Traffic Safety "You're a disaster waiting to happen. Don't drive drowsy get a full night of sleep before you hit the roadless than 6 hours is not enough." "We worked with the DMV in Raleigh, North Carolina to ID a sample of drivers who had recently been involved in sleep-related crashes," explains Dr. Jane Stutts of the UNC study. -->The North Carolina Highway Patrol is seeing more and more accidents where people fall asleep at the wheel. They say the accidents are easy to avoid.

    Trooper L.B. Horton has a few suggestions:

  • "Get out of the car, take a break, drink some kind of fluid."
  • "Get out and walk around, get some fresh air."
  • "Basically they need to stop about every 100 miles," he says. "Just get out and move around, because you get comfortable sitting in your seat. You get relaxed, you'll fall asleep, you'll wreck your car."

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