“In the last 20 or 30 years, we as a society have done great work on educating the public about the dangers of drunk driving. I think a similar campaign needs to happen, certainly here on Staten Island considering the amount of driving commuters we have on a daily basis, promoting an awareness on how many of us are sleep deprived and what that means in terms of our driving, our driving habits, and the dangers that poses to society,” BP Oddo said.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has recently completed two traffic studies on the large percentage of crashes that involve drowsiness and how driving drowsy produces a crash risk equivalent to driving drunk. Their study has found that 3 in 10 people have admitted to driving when they were so tired they could not keep their eyes open. They found that drivers who have gotten less than five hours of sleep are at four times the crash rate of someone who has had at least seven hours of sleep. They also found that approximately 9-10% of all crashes are caused by drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving is preventable by getting the recommended amount of sleep every night and pulling over to rest when you feel too tired to drive.
“We know drunk driving is socially unacceptable, and we need to make drowsy driving just as socially unacceptable,” Alec Slatky stated. “There are so many factors to watch out for on the road, and drivers need to be able to function at maximum capacity at all times. We need to make sure drivers are taking their safety and the safety of others seriously, and a big factor in that is sleep.”
In support of Borough President Oddo’s initiative, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair Terri Egan said, “We should always remember to take precautions to avoid drowsy driving. A few seconds of inattention can lead to tragic results. Getting enough sleep is one of the key ways to prevent drowsy driving, especially when you’re going on a long trip.”
For more information on “Sleep Well, Staten Island,” click here.