With shorter days and the end of daylight saving time upon us, now is a good opportunity to remind motorists to drive alert and arrive alive.
Nov. 6-13, 2016, is Drowsy Driving Awareness and Prevention Week
in Washington state, part of a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the dangers of drowsy driving.
Nationwide, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, with 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. In Washington state from 2011-15, drowsy driving was part of 64 fatal collisions and 308 serious injury collisions.
Drowsy driving is not only dangerous — it's illegal. If you fall asleep at the wheel, you could receive a negligent driving ticket, which carries a $550 fine.
To stay safe and awake behind the wheel, remember some tips:
- Get a good night's sleep before hitting the road
- Don't be too rushed to arrive at your destination
- Take a break every two hours or 100 miles to refresh
- Use the buddy system to keep you awake and share driving chores
- Avoid alcohol, drugs and medications that cause drowsiness as a side effect
- Avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping
Washington state's proclamation occurs alongside National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation.
To learn more about drowsy driving prevention, visit drowsydriving.org