Message Monday - June 27, 2016 - Air bags are not pillows. Rest before driving

6-27 message mondayWhen you think of impaired driving, what comes to mind? There are the obvious impairments of alcohol and drugs, but there is a more subtle impairment that you might not think about – drowsiness.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says drowsy driving is not just falling asleep at the wheel. Driver alertness, attention, reaction time, judgment, and decision-making are all compromised leading to a greater chance of crashing. According to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study, drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not fatigued. In extreme cases, a drowsy driver may fall asleep at the wheel.

Research shows that for every time you recognize that you’ve dozed off, you have already fallen out of conscious up to 15 times that you didn’t realize. This “microsleep” can last from a fraction of a second to up to 30 seconds.

This week, the University of Iowa is hosting a Drowsy Driving Summit featuring NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. Rosekind will be touring various research areas at the university and lead a panel discussion on drowsy driving Wednesday morning at the Public Health Building – Callaghan Auditorium at 145 N. Riverside Drive in Iowa City.

Think you can handle driving drowsy? Research would show otherwise -

The fatality count of 163 is an increase of nine from last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to

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