Beware of Fatigue, CHP Warns

"Fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous as an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver on our roadways," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "A lack of sleep will decrease a driver's awareness, slow reaction time, and impair judgment."

The California Highway Patrol is asking motorists, workers, and employers to be mindful of fatigue as Daylight Saving Time nears, meaning everyone will lose an hour of sleep as we set our clocks forward March 8. Losing even one hour of sleep can affect someone's ability to drive safely, according to CHP.

The agency is joining with the National Sleep Foundation to observe National Sleep Awareness Week this week. "Fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous as an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver on our roadways," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "A lack of sleep will decrease a driver's awareness, slow reaction time, and impair judgment. All of these behaviors can result in serious or even deadly consequences for the driver, their passengers, or others on the roadway."

CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System shows that during 2012 (the most recent year for which final data are available), more than 4,000 collisions in California involved a drowsy driver, and those collisions resulted in 36 deaths and more than 2,400 injuries. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than 100,000 collisions nationally per year are the result of drowsy driving.

"Many people underestimate the dangers associated with driving drowsy," Farrow said. "This week is the perfect opportunity to educate the public on the risks associated with drowsy driving."

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