Driving when you’re fatigued can be deadly

7 out of 10 drivers admit to driving while drowsy

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new poll reveals that all of us can be susceptible to drowsy driving, which causes more than 100,000 crashes a year.

The poll from CarInsurance.com found that 7 out of 10 drivers admit to driving while drowsy, and that puts everyone on the road at risk.

Drowsy driving, or driving when you’re extremely fatigued, is blamed for 1 in 8 highway deaths, according to AAA. This doesn’t just affect truck drivers, but people with untreated sleep apnea or night shift workers. If you didn’t get enough sleep, if you’re stressed out, or if you ate too much, you could be at risk of drowsy driving.

22News spoke with a local driving instructor about what you can do to make sure you don’t fall asleep behind the wheel. Gerald Smith of Agawam Auto School said, “Take a walk around the car. Go get a drink or a coffee, a cold beverage or something like that. Make sure you make frequent stops. Keep yourself well hydrated and keep the car well ventilated.”

Other results from the poll, 6 out of 10 admit to driving even when the “check engine light” has come on, and 3 out of 10 have driven during winter months, when they couldn’t see anything out of snowy or icy windshields.

Of those, tired driving is the deadliest habit. Smith said, “You don’t see everything you’re supposed to. Your brain doesn’t allow you to. So you may miss a stop sign, or you may miss a red light or something like that. Go right through the intersection and cause an accident.”

Smith added that making frequent stops for a quick walk around the car and fresh air can help you stay alert. “Try to keep fresh air, run the air conditioner and things like that. Overheating cars cause fatigue too. You know, you can get drowsy in a warm place.”

To read more on the poll, Click Here.

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