National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week reminds us to drive awake, aware

National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week reminds us to drive awake, aware

Have you ever driven while sleepy and barely able to keep your eyelids propped open? Have you ever been so tired that no matter how many Red Bull energy drinks or cups of Dunkin’ Donuts you drank you were still exhausted – and then you had to make a long road trip?

Well, you’re not alone. According to NHTSA, nearly 83,000 police-reported crashes a year are due to drowsy driving. That’s why during National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, from November 12 to 19, drivers are encouraged to fight fatigue behind the wheel.

A 2011 AAA Foundation for Traffic survey states that 96 percent of people find it unacceptable to drive while drowsy, although most of us have been guilty of it. A report released by NHTSA tells us that anywhere between 2.2 and 2.6 percent of all fatal crashes annually between 2005 and 2009 involved dozing off while driving. Those crashes sadly have led to more than 37,000 injuries and 886 deaths.

Ford Motor Company is also working actively on driver safety. The Detroit-based car maker has put together this quirky video about its Driver Alert System that provides some helpful tips when you find yourself too tired to continue trekking down the highway. Take a watch below and learn more about Ford’s safety technologies after the jump:

Ford’s latest Fusion incorporates a high-tech Lane-Keeping System with Driver Alert, using a forward-facing camera to track visible road markings and alert the driver if the car drifts out of its lane. That means when you’re sleepy and creeping into my lane (at which point in time I will verbally remind you to ‘share the road’ even though you cannot hear me) the 2013 Ford Fusion will automatically recommend you take a rest via audio alert and adorable coffee cup warning light on the dashboard. The system also applies a torque to the steering wheel to help nudge the car back into position. What happens if you don’t respond or drive with more awareness? There will be additional warnings until you slow down to a stop, open the door, or turn off the engine.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Tips from Ford:

  • Get completely off the road and into a rest area or parking lot for maximum safety
  • While you’re stopped get some water or coffee
  • Recline the seat and take a quick nap to re-energize
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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.