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Stay Alert, Stay Alive

daylightsavingsDaylight Saving Time is just around the corner, which means losing an hour of sleep as we set clocks forward an hour on March 9, 2014. Losing even one hour of sleep can affect a person’s internal clock and consequently impact their ability to safely drive. In an effort to reduce the number of fatigue-related collisions, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is joining with the National Sleep Foundation in observing National Sleep Awareness Week, March 2-9, 2014.

Sleep deprivation and fatigue impact a driver’s attention, which can lead to other behaviors behind the wheel that can result in a collision. According to the CHP, in 2011, more than 3,700 collisions occurred in California involving a drowsy driver. Those collisions resulted in 42 deaths and injuries to more than 2,200 people.

Motorists can take effective steps if they become sleepy while driving, including: Stop driving altogether, Consume the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee, or Take a 20-minute nap, and after the nap, drive to the closest safe resting spot, such as a motel, friend’s house, or go home and sleep.

Drowsy driving leads to thousands of collisions every year in California,” added Commissioner Farrow. “These crashes, like many others, are preventable and prevention begins with a good night’s rest.”

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