AAA releases drowsy driving numbers - Tucson News Now

AAA releases drowsy driving numbers

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

An annual report from AAA reveals drowsy driving continues to be prevalent across the United States and accounted for nearly 17 percent of fatal crashes in the past year.

Nov. 3 through Nov. 10 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week and AAA officials identify warning signs motorists can recognize while driving to help prevent a potentially fatal situation.

Approximately 28 percent of motorists reported being so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open while driving in the past month, according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"Driving drowsy can be like driving with a blood alcohol level of .10," said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs for AAA Arizona. "It significantly impacts reaction time, vision impairment and overall judgment."

AAA officials report drivers should recognize the following signs as a warning of drowsy driving:

- The inability to recall the last few miles traveled

- Having disconnected or wandering thoughts

- Having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open

- Feeling as though your head is very heavy

- Drifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on the rumble strips

- Missing traffic signs and signals

Approximately 33 percent of motorists who reported to drive while dangerously drowsy were between 19 and 24 years old.

Officials said some of the best ways to avoid fatigue while driving are to get at least seven hours of sleep before a long trip; travel at times when normally awake; schedule a break about every 100 miles or two hours; travel with an alert passenger; and avoid heavy foods or medication that may cause impairment.

For more information on the club's advocacy efforts, visit AAA.com/trafficsafety.

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