Drowsy Driving a Holiday Danger
Floridians survived another year of frantic Black Friday shopping but at what cost?
Over the Thanksgiving holiday a 36-year-old Florida Target store employee drove her car into a 20-foot deep canal after working the night shift on Black Friday. Police say the woman lost control of her vehicle due to exhaustion. She was unable to swim, but managed to call police from her cell phone and explain the situation as she and the car began to sink. Despite a rescue attempt by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, the woman died. Unfortunately, this type of accident is becoming increasingly common in the United States.
According to a AAA study, one-fifth of all traffic accidents in industrialized nations can be attributed to sleepiness behind the wheel. What’s more shocking is the study found it only takes two hours of continuous nighttime driving to produce impairment comparable to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%; after three hours of driving impairment corresponds to a 0.08%. That’s the same amount of impairment that would get a driver arrested for drunk driving.
As the winter holidays approach, many of us will take to the roads to visit loved ones.
I hope you’ll all stay safe this season and remember to only get behind the wheel wide awake, sober, and ready to focus on the road. Sleep experts recommend drivers only drive during the day, but if nighttime driving is necessary it’s best to limit your driving to two hours at a time.