Transportation Matters in Iowa | Blog

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Message Monday - Tired of drowsy driving? Take a break


6-12 message monday“Asleep at the Wheel” may be a great name for a country music group, but it’s a horrible way to drive. Even a driver who’s a little bit drowsy can exhibit some of the same dangerous behaviors as a drunk driver.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of .05 (for reference, .08 is considered legally drunk). If you’ve been awake for a full 24 hours and drive—say, after a night where you just couldn’t fall asleep—it’s like you have a blood alcohol level of .10. Driving drowsy, like driving drunk, leads to slower reaction times, and impaired attention, mental processing, judgment, and decision making.

When a single vehicle crash happens, it’s tough to pin down one single cause. Was the driver drowsy, drunk, or crash for some other reason? Whatever the cause, the cable median barrier in this crash saved many lives in the oncoming lanes of traffic.

The fatality count of 116 is an increase of five since last Monday. In all of 2016, 405 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report.

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Iowa highway in the evening