Sun. May 26th, 2024

A drowsy driver was lucky to escape with minor injuries after crashing into a traffic signal pole at Tustin Ranch and Victory, according to the Tustin Police Department.

The Tustin Police Department reminds us that if we are tired we should not try to power through and drive to our destination. Pull over and get some sleep! Don’t get behind the wheel if you are tired.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. 

No one knows the exact moment when sleep will come over their body. Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, but being sleepy also affects your ability to drive safely, even if you don’t fall asleep, according to the CDC.

Drowsiness:

  • Makes you less able to pay attention to the road.1
  • Slows your reaction time if you must brake or steer suddenly.1
  • Affects your ability to make good decisions.1

Drowsy-driving crashes:

  1. Occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. At both times of the day, people experience dips in their circadian rhythm—the human body’s internal clock that regulates sleep;
  2. Often involve only a single driver (and no passengers) running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking; and
  3. Frequently occur on rural roads and highways.

Short-term interventions:

  1. Drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They might help you feel more alert, but the effects last only a short time, and you might not be as alert as you think you are. If you drink coffee and are seriously sleep-deprived, you still may have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for four or five seconds. This means that at 55 miles per hour, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards down the road while asleep. That’s plenty of time to cause a crash.
  2. If you start to get sleepy while you’re driving, drink one to two cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted, designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness in scientific studies, but only for short time periods.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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