Drowsy Driving Prevention Week in Florida
This week state troopers are warning Floridians that drowsy driving can lead to death.
The Florida legislature designated the first week of September each year as drowsy driving prevention week to educate others about the dangers of drowsy driving and to honor an 8- year- old girl who was killed when her school bus was hit by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel.
Getting behind the wheel is something most people do on a daily basis, but driving while you're tired and sleepy is something you should never do.
Triple A reports drowsy driving is a factor of nearly one in six deadly crashes.
"W are on the road a lot so it does happen," said Gordon Rondeau who is a driver.
Rondeau said he spends a lot of his free time traveling with his wife across the United States, but all that traveling leads to long hours on the road. Rondeau confessed he sometimes fights to stay awake behind the wheel.
"You do funny things when your tired, you weave a little bit. You are not really cognizant about your position in the lane relative to other cars, especially when other cars are passing you," said Rondeau.
He said he even has nightmares about falling asleep on the wheel.
The solution for Rondeau and his wife is using the buddy system.
"My wife and I drive together and so typically we will trade off when it gets really bad," said Rondeau.
Truck driver Dannie Walker also confessed about driving while fatigued, but said he usually pulls over.
"If I get that tired I generally find me a store, pull over, wash my face and get a coke," said Walker.
Sgt. Tracy Pace with the Florida Highway Patrol said a drowsy driver can be as dangerous on the road as a drunk driver.
"It can have some of the same affects where it can affect your vision. It can affect your cognizant and it will also slow your reaction and perception time," said Sgt. Pace.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, each year drowsy driving crashes result in at least 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
The telltale signs of drowsy driving are constantly blinking, your head keeps nodding forward and if your car drifts off the road.
"iI you are feeling this way you need to get off the road. You need to stop driving," said Sgt. Pace.
If you do stop make sure you get off the interstate or highway and stop in a public area where people can see you.
Visit the website below for more information on how to prevent drowsy driving
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