SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — AAA warning drivers about the dangers of falling asleep behind the wheel. It’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, a time to raise awareness on this issue that’s often overlooked.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week kicked off on November 6 and runs through November 13. It’s held each year the week following the end of Daylight Saving Time.
Just like drunk or distracted driving, drowsy driving is a real problem. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says an estimated 6,400 people in the U.S. are killed each year from drowsy driving. NSF says drivers who’ve only slept three to five hours in the last 24 hours should not be behind the wheel. The CDC says most adults should get at least seven hours of sleep a day, while teens need at least 8 hours.
AAA says knowing the warning signs can help drivers avoid dozing off behind the wheel. Common symptoms of drowsy driving include having trouble keeping your eyes open, drifting from your lane, and not remembering the last few miles that you’ve driven.
AAA recommends drivers travel during hours they’re normally awake and avoid heavy foods or medications that cause drowsiness.
For longer trips, drivers should take a break every two hours or 100 miles, travel with a passenger that’s alert, and take turns driving with them. AAA also says drivers should pull into a rest stop and take a quick power nap at least for 20 minutes, no more than 30 minutes. Taking a power nap will help keep you alert on the road.