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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Attention Spring Breakers: Driving facts and countermeasures

Alarming statistics:* A person awake 16 hours or longer has the performance equivalent of .05 blood alcohol level; a person awake for 24 hours has the performance equivalent of .10 blood alcohol level.* People driving for long periods of time commonly experience bouts of “microsleep” lasting 1-3 seconds in duration – – the time it takes a person doing 65 mph to travel the length of a football field.* A person that gets 6-7 hours of sleep per night is twice as likely to crash than someone that gets 8 hours of sleep.* Those that sleep 5 hours per night are 4-5 times more likely to crash than someone that gets 8 hours of sleep.* People tend to fall asleep more on high-speed, long, boring, rural highways.* Sleep-related crashes are most common in young people, who tend to stay up late, sleep too little, and drive at night.The following countermeasures can help minimize the risks of sleepiness during road trips: * Get a good night’s sleep the night before you embark on your trip. * Plan to drive alongside a companion to keep you awake and take over the wheel when needed. * Drink caffeine and/or keep an energy drink such as a can of Red Bull in the glove compartment at all times. * Do not count on an open window, or other “tricks” to keep you awake.* Respond to symptoms of fatigue by finding a safe place to stop for a break. * If tired, pull off into a safe area away from traffic and take a brief nap (15-45 minutes)All statistics derived from National Sleep Foundation, KNBC-Los Angeles News report and research conducted by AAA.