HEALTH DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS TO DRIVE ALERT, ARRIVE ALIVE

Mon February 27, 2012

DUPAGE COUNTY-National Sleep Awareness Week begins on March 5 and the DuPage County Health Department is reminding residents about the dangers of drowsy driving and how they can prevent car crashes.
 
Americans freely admit that they drive when they are sleepy, according to the National Sleep Foundation, which encourages tired people not to drive for their safety and the safety of others.
 
The health department says stop driving if you exhibit these warning signs:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty keeping daydreams at bay
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, swerving or tailgating
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive

Here's what you can do to prevent a fall-asleep crash:

  • You'll want to be alert for the drive, so be sure to get adequate sleep (seven to nine hours) the night before you go.
  • Don't be too rushed to arrive at your destination. Many drivers try to maximize a weekend by driving at night or without stopping for breaks. It's better to allow the time to drive alert and arrive alive.
  • Use the buddy system. Avoid driving alone for long distances. A buddy who remains awake for the journey can take a turn behind the wheel and help identify fatigue.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Get a snack, switch drivers or go for a walk.
  • Take a nap. Find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap. Be cautious about excessive drowsiness after waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Consume caffeine. The equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.
 

Click here to print a copy of this press release:

HEALTH DEPARTMENT REMINDS RESIDENTS TO DRIVE ALERT, ARRIVE ALIVE