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Turning Clocks Back Increases Risk of Drowsy Driving

NEW YORK, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- When daylight savings ends Sunday morning, roads may become more dangerous, says The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. a non-profit that provides free driver safety films and programs for schools and other organizations.

"Once we move the clocks back this weekend, the drive home from work or school for many will likely be in the dark," says Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation. "The time change and earlier nightfall are a combination that's a formula for drowsy driving -- a condition many drivers fail to recognize. It can be as dangerous as drinking and driving."

A recent study by the National Sleep Foundation last year show 60 percent of U.S. motorists have driven while sleepy, and nearly 37 percent admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. The risk of drowsy driving is especially prevalent among teens, who tend to keep late hours and think they can function on minimal sleep.

The National Road Safety Foundation has a free teaching program, "Recognizing the Drowsy Driver," that includes two films with real-life vignettes of drowsy drivers, as well as discussion guides for classroom use.

The program teaches drivers to be alert to the signs of drowsiness while driving:

• Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, rubbing eyes

• Daydreaming or not remembering the last few miles driven

• Head snaps, yawning

• Drifting out of your lane, tailgating or hitting shoulder rumble strips

If you experience any of these warning signs, pull over to a safe area and take a break, have a cup or two of coffee or a caffeinated snack and, if possible, take a 20-minute nap. Allow 30 minutes for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream.

"Recognizing the Drowsy Driver" and other free programs can be ordered or downloaded at .


David Reich


SOURCE The National Road Safety Foundation
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