Driving Drowsy is More Dangerous Than You Think

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Did you know that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night? With so many distractions, responsibilities, and stresses, not everyone is getting the recommended amount of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), 70 million people are sleep deprived or suffer from sleep disorders. 


Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders not only leave people feeling drowsy throughout their day, but also causes an increase in traffic accidents. Driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is the equivalent of driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% - the U.S. legal limit. In 2015, the National Sleep Foundation did a study about driving drowsy and traffic accidents that yielded alarming results. According to this study, 10% (1 out of 10) of drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last year, 12.5% (1 out of 8) of crashes that required hospitalization were a result of drowsy driving, and 16.5% (1 out of 6) of fatal traffic accidents were a direct result of drowsy driving.


If you're unsure about whether or not you are too tired to drive, chances are, you are. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the following are signs and systems of drowsy driving: 

  1. Frequent yawning or difficulty keeping your eyes open
  2. "Nodding off" or having trouble keeping your head up
  3. Inability to remember driving the last few miles
  4. Missing road signs or turns
  5. Difficulty maintaining your speed
  6. Drifting in and out of your lane 

In the last few years, automakers have been more aware of the hazards of drowsy driving and have worked on safety features that help prevent drowsy driving. One example of this is the lane-keeping system developed by Ford Motor Company. One feature of the lane-keeping system is the driver alert feature. The driver alert feature can sense repeated lane drifting and alert you with visual and audible signals that it might be time to pull over and take a break or grab a cup of coffee.

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To learn more about the lane-keeping system from Ford, schedule an appointment online or stop by and ask any sales representative at Bill MacDonald Ford!



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