Drowsy drivers as dangerous as drunk ones – Aug. 4, 2013 Globe and Mail

I was interested to read an Aug. 4, 2013 Globe and Mail article about Driving while Drowsy.

The opening paragraphs of the article read:

“Nearly a third of respondents in a recent Insurance Corporation of B.C. survey admitted to having nodded off at the wheel at some point in their lives – an alarming statistic that prompted the insurance provider to issue a reminder for the B.C. Day long weekend.

“’That’s why we wanted to put it out there: That is staggering to me,’ ICBC road-safety manager Jill Blacklock said of the number. ‘The thought that so many people are putting themselves and other people at risk on the road, I think that’s what the shock was for me.’

“In addition, 43 per cent of respondents said they had driven while drowsy in the past year. Actual statistics are likely higher, as driver fatigue is self-reported and therefore underreported, Ms. Blacklock noted: ‘If somebody is drifting off and drifting over the centre line without a crash, then we don’t know it’s happening.’”

Drowsiness while Driving

Over the years I’ve been aware of how a person’s Circadian Rhythm is associated with a certain period of drowsiness in the afternoon.

When organizing conferences or meetings, I’ve learned that there’s a time after lunch when everyone’s pretty sleepy and groggy, with the result that certain kinds of events work better at that time than at other times, when people tend to be more alert and wide-awake.

When driving, over the years, I’ve noticed a time of day in the afternoon when I feel particularly drowsy for a period of time. In the past, that never affected my driving.

With the passage of the years, however, I’ve learned that it’s wise to stop the car, walk around a bit, maybe go for a coffee, at those times of day.

Otherwise, problems can arise.

Update

A March 20, 2015 Toronto Star article is entitled: “Tech Talk: Keeping watch against the drowsy driver: Falling asleep at the wheel is a killer. The race is on for sensors and systems to alert drivers when they start to fade.”

The DrowsyDriving.org website features Memorials and Testimonials related to Drowsy Driving.

 

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