CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Massachusetts lawmaker is working on a bill that would draw attention to drowsy driving prevention.
Thanksgiving is a time of food, family, and fun. Those very reasons to give thanks can also be a recipe for disaster. A big meal, a long day, and maybe a drink or two makes people tired and many of them then get behind the wheel.
This isn’t just a problem during the holidays. Dr. Ronald Gross, Chief of Baystate trauma, Acute & Critical Care told 22News, “There isn’t a person in any walk of life who hasn’t worked their butt off and gotten in the car totally exhausted and emotionally spent, can’t wait to get home. Next thing you know you’re three lanes over and have no idea how you got there.”
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy. That’s some 168 million people!
Mark Fedele, a Thanksgiving traveler, admitted to 22News he worries, “Especially at nighttime, truck drivers who are on the road 20 hours a day. It’s a concern.”
Following your Thanksgiving dinner, and anytime throughout the year, experts recommend giving yourself some time to assess how awake you are before getting behind the wheel. It only takes a few seconds with your eyes closed while driving for something devastating to happen.
More than half of all Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder; those who go untreated are also at a greater risk of drowsy driving.