Nov. 4 also marks the start of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, the week seeks to raise public awareness about drowsy driving, its effect on drivers and how it can be avoided. Ultimately, the goal is to decrease drowsy driving and make America’s roads safer.
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“A driver who’s been awake for 24 hours is as impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, which is well above the standard for being legally drunk — 0.08 percent — in all states,” says Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital Sleep Center manager Julie Toomey. “Driver sleepiness is related to one in five serious motor vehicle injuries.”
“If you’re turning up the radio or rolling down the window to stay awake — these don’t work, by the way — drifting lanes, tailgating, missing signs or exits, having trouble focusing or reacting, or struggling to keep your eyes open — it’s time to get off the road,” Toomey says.
If you have difficulty sleeping, seek help from a professional such as the accredited Sleep Disorders Center at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital. For more information, call 314-996-8680.