The dangers of driving drowsy

Archives
12824287_G_1282428771

Many people are on the road this time of year driving from one celebration to the next. But one thing to keep in mind before you even get behind the wheel is how much sleep you’re getting the night before your road trip. 59 News spoke with an officer from the Beckley Police Department about the dangers of drowsy driving.

When you’ve been on the road for hours and are just trying to get to the party on time, the last thing you might want to do is pull over if you’re feeling tired. But that’s exactly what Mary Anne Adkins does, especially when she’s traveling with family.

“When I’m tired, my husband and I always take turns and if we ever feel the need to change up we always just take the responsibility and take turns. If I’m by myself then I’ll just pull over and rest,” said Adkins, holiday driver.

She says the help is invaluable during the busiest time of the year. “It’s a great help if you take turns, have good conversation and always have the music on,” Adkins added. 

But unlike Adkins, many people choose instead to power through their road trip when they’re feeling sleepy. It’s a decision that could turn deadly. According to a recent report by the Triple A Foundation for Traffic Safety, drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. The study says people who skip just two or three hours of sleep more than quadruple their risk of a crash compared to drivers getting the recommended seven hours of sleep.

Even though the data is startling, it’s a problem that’s easy to fix. “At the first sign that you’re feeling tired you need to pull over. There’s no sense in putting yourself in harms way or the other drivers on the road in harms way just to get wherever you’re going,” said Sgt. Jamie Wilhite with the Beckley City Police.

Symptoms of drowsy driving can range anywhere from drifting from your lane, having difficulty focusing, or having trouble remembering the last few miles driven

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories

Beckley Martial Arts Studio offers 'women empowerment' self defense program

Thumbnail for the video titled "Beckley Martial Arts Studio offers 'women empowerment' self defense program"

REMARKABLE WOMEN: Friends tell the story of Shirley Roberts

Thumbnail for the video titled "REMARKABLE WOMEN: Friends tell the story of Shirley Roberts"

NASA after school program trains future rocket boys and girls

Thumbnail for the video titled "NASA after school program trains future rocket boys and girls"

Toys meant for children at kids day hauled off with flood-damaged debris

Thumbnail for the video titled "Toys meant for children at kids day hauled off with flood-damaged debris"

New hotel will bring jobs, money to Raleigh County

Thumbnail for the video titled "New hotel will bring jobs, money to Raleigh County"

Raleigh County hopes to cut jail costs down

Thumbnail for the video titled "Raleigh County hopes to cut jail costs down"