Defense Against Crime

01/03/2010

Don’t fall sleep behind the wheel!

65178598_20383232ab_oHave any of these driving events ever happened to you?

Scenario One: You decided to take a road trip and you wake up early put your family and stuff in your vehicle. You are a little sleepy, however feel you can make the three hour drive with no problems.  You think things are  going well, until you sudden wake up and realized that you nodded off. It is only by the grace of God that you wake up with out wrecking, and perhaps killing your family. You wake up and get back into your side of the road before you hit the car in the other lane, or cross into the median. You quickly pull over, thank God and head for the nearest Waffle House for lots of hot coffee. This actually happened to me a few decades ago. Now I’m older and wiser

Or you were on the other end  of this scenario, and had a car cross into your lane from a sleepy driver..and saw

Scenario Two: You are driving on a highway and the SUV in front of you slowly crosses the yellow line and then, with a jerk, the driver corrects himself and pulls the truck over to the right.  However, this wasn’t due to distracted driving.

Scenario Three:  You have a long distance trip, and in what feels like an instant, you hear the sound of sirens and a voice assuring you that things are going to be OK.  You do manage to live, but your vehicle unfortunately has been totaled.

There is a Scenario Four, but you would not be reading this message if it had happened to you, because you would be dead.

I’ve actually had a friend that died this way. She was working full time and going to school full time, and driving an hour and and a half back and forth to school. Unfortunately, she died when she fell asleep at the wheel. She left behind a husband, two daughters and a host of fiends.

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually involve drowsiness and/or fatigue as a principal causal factor. Those crashes result in an estimated 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries each year, and an annual monetary loss of approximately $12.5 billion.

According to Health Daily News – One in 10 American truck drivers, train conductors, airline pilots and other transportation workers may be dangerously sleep-deprived, a new survey suggests.

It is amazing the carnage isn’t worse, considering a recent survey by Farmers Insurance. More than 10 percent of drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel, while more than 20 percent say they have momentarily dozed while driving, according to the study of 1,024 drivers.

The annual report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that “fatal highway incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal workplace event, accounting for one in every four fatalities nationally.

Let me repeat that statistic: ONE IN FOUR!

“Driving while drowsy or fatigued is something that most drivers have experienced or will experience at some point. According to the Farmers survey, almost three times as many men (15.9 percent) as women (5.8 percent) said they had fallen asleep while driving. Those ages 55 to 64 had the highest percentage of any age group surveyed (13.7 percent).

The threat they pose of “sleep driving” or just falling asleep at the wheel is every bit as serious as an intoxicated driver and maybe more so. A study showed that people with sleep apnea or tired were seven times more likely to have multiple car accidents.

There are a variety of devices that can keep drivers awake or help you avoid  falling asleep while driving if they are suspect. large_SWNAPZ-InusefemaleThe ‘Nap Zapper‘ is the most popular and effective. You attach it to your ear. When it detects a nodding motion of your head as though you are dozing off an alarm goes off waking you and the occupants of the vehicle.

Caffeine, stimulants and other tricks may revive you temporarily, but these things are not reliable and do not work for long periods of time. Instead, the best solution to driver fatigue is to avoid being tired. Here are some tips to make sure you are alert enough for a nighttime drive:

  • No Sleep Debt: Before a long or nighttime drive, be sure that you have had several nights (in a row) of (at least 8 hours).
  • Take Breaks: Taking a break during your drive will allow you to stretch, move and wake up. Plan for breaks and even a quick 20 to 30 minute nap
  • Arrive by Midnight: The time between midnight and early morning is when our body most wants to be sleeping. This is the most dangerous time to be driving in respect to sleep.
  • Know the Warning Signs: If you are yawning constantly, can’t remember the last few moments of driving or cannot keep your eyes focused, pull over and take a quick nap.

PeppperEyes.com is dedicated to meeting your safety needs by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim. If you want to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself, your family and property arm yourself with our high quality discounted products and the knowledge about the best way to stay safe in an ever increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.
PepperEyes.com is a division of Onyx Knight Enterprises.

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