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DROWSY DRIVING = DRUNK DRIVING

In this month's issue of the Costco magazine is an article about the dangers of driving while fatigued.  After 20 hours without sleep the average person performs as someone with a blood-alcohol level of .08 would. There were some other statistics that bear repeating here:

1. Sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of drowsy driving accidents by four times.

2. On average a person has to be asleep for 2 to 4 minutes before they even realize that they had fallen asleep. Behind the wheel it only takes a few seconds for a catastrophic crash to occur.

3. Half of all fatigued-driving crashes involve drivers younger than 25.

About three years ago here in the Metro area there was a case of a young high school student was killed while walking to school on the sidewalk. A woman driving home from her night shift job fell asleep at the wheel.

Over the road truck drivers are a group that are particularly at risk for fatigued driving. Many employers force drivers to work longer hours than allowed by law. That is why commercial truckers have a logbook that they are supposed to fill out accurately showing how much time they spent on duty and how much time they spent sleeping. Naturally, such a system is subject to fraud.

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