Message Monday - Sleeping at the wheel results in a wake

2-26 message mondayDrowsy driving isn’t just a minor thing – it can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driving drowsy causes more than 100,000 crashes, 1,550 deaths, and 71,000 injuries every year.

With Iowa’s many manufacturing, agricultural, and processing industries, long shifts are quite common and have caused drowsy driving to become a serious issue. Drowsy drivers have slow reaction times, often swerve in and out of lanes, veer off the road, and have a higher propensity to cause a crash.

In other words, drivers need to wake up to the serious problem of drowsy driving – it’s just as dangerous as drunk driving. Indicators of drowsiness are:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids.
  • Daydreaming or wandering thoughts.
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven.
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip.
  • Feeling restless and irritable.

Are you falling asleep behind the wheel and don’t even know it? Micro sleep is a real thing and you’ve probably done it.

For 2018, there have been 44 fatalities reported. That’s an increase of three since last Monday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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