HEALTH

Officials warn drivers about drowsy driving with time change

Nov 6, 2023, 8:41 AM

a woman yawns while driving a car...

Officials are urging drivers to be alert amid the time change. (Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY— With the clocks turned back for the winter, health experts and driving organizations are urging drivers to watch for signs of drowsy driving.

November 5-11 is the National Sleep Foundation’s ‘Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.’ According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is the primary factor in over 100,000 crashes, over 71,000 injuries and more than $12.5 million in damages.

The Centers for Disease Control and the National Sleep Foundation say some of the most common signs of driver fatigue are:

  • Frequent yawning and/or blinking.
  • Falling in and out of sleep, even for short periods (microsleeps).
  • Drifting out of your lane.
  • Hitting the warning bumps off the side of the freeway.
  • Little to no memory of the last few miles.
  • Tunnel vision.
  • Slow reaction time.

If drivers find themselves doing anything listed above, some suggestions from MarketWatch, NTSHA and the CDC include:

  • Take the next exit and take a break, even if you need to multiple times.
  • Avoid alcohol, even if you stay under the legal limit.
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Make sure medications don’t cause drowsy side effects.
  • Don’t lean on cranking up the radio, rolling down the windows or guzzling caffeine to stay awake since their effects can be short-lived.

Related reading: UHP cracking down on distracted driving in Salt lake City

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Officials warn drivers about drowsy driving with time change