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January 06, 1995 - Image 77

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-01-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Drowsy Drivers,
Wake Up!

Falling asleep at the wheel of
your car can have dangerous and
often fatal consequences.
According to a report by the
National Commission on Sleep
Disorders, drowsy drivers actu-
ally cause more fatalities per ac-
cident than drunk drivers. In fact,
says the report, nearly 40 million
Americans have chronic sleep
problems which can present a se-
rious threat to themselves and
The U.S. Department of Trans-
portation estimates that at least
200,000 traffic accidents each
year are due to driver fatigue. A
study by the National Trans-
portation Safety Board found that
one-third of all truck accidents
resulting in the death of the dri-
ver were probably caused by sleep
deprivation. Other national stud-
ies have estimated that at least
20 percent of all drivers have fall-
en asleep while driving.
Here are some suggestions
from the AAA Foundation for
Traffic Safety to avoid driving
* Start any trip by getting
enough sleep the night before.
Plan to drive during time periods
when you are normally awake.
Stay overnight rather than dri-
ving straight through.
* Avoid driving during your
body's natural "down time." Take
a mid-afternoon break and find
a place to sleep between midnight
and 6 a.m.
* Talk with your passenger if
you have someone else in the car.
A passenger can also let you
know when you are showing
signs of sleepiness. If your pas-
senger thinks you are getting
sleepy, let someone else drive or
drive to a safe place and get some
* Make sure both people in the
front of the car are awake. A dri-
ver who is resting should go to the
back seat, buckle up and sleep.
* Schedule a break every two
hours or 100 miles. Stop sooner
if you show signs of sleepiness.
During your break, take a nap,
stretch, take a walk and get some
exercise before getting back into
the car.
* Four out of 10 Americans
routinely fail to get enough sleep.
If you believe you have a chronic
sleep disorder, consult your fam-
ily physician.
Copies of a brochure, titled
"Wake Up!," are available free at
AAA Michigan full service
branches statewide. El


"60 Minutes" reporter Morley
Safer also is a car buff. He loves
his Ferrari 308GTS and his prac-
tical Peugeot 505 wagon.

Audomolive Group
of Fai ► ingion Hills

At Grand River and 10 Mile



❑ ❑ 1. Coffee will keep me awake.

❑ ❑ 2. I can tell when I'm going to fall asleep.
Li Li 3. 1'1-n a safe driver so it doesn't matter if
I'm sleepy.

❑ ❑ 4. I can't take naps.

Li D 5. I get plenty of sleep.

Li Li 6. Being sleepy makes you misperceive things.
❑ ❑ 7. Young people need less sleep.

Source: Wakc Up! brochure, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1994

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AAA Michigan

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