Many people have heard of the dangers of “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) or “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI). There have been many campaigns to bring awareness to this danger. But there is another danger on the road. A danger that has caused many accidents and even fatalities. The danger of “Driving While Drowsy,” or (DWD). DWD is very dangerous and can cause a driver to lose concentration making the driver unaware of any other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. Precautions should be taken to avoid, Driving While Drowsy.

In National Lampoon’s “Vacation”, The Griswold’s are on cross country quest to Wally World. Clark, played by Chevy Chase, is trying to keep to a tight daily schedule thus driving late into the night. We see the family asleep and finally reveal Clark also dozing at the wheel. The Family Truckster careens off the highway into a neighborhood almost hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk, another customer walking out of a restaurant and dog being taken on its nightly walk. All while Clark is still asleep. When he is awakened by Helen, he realizes the situation he is in but is helpless. The car spins around and comes to a violent stop in a parking place at the hotel. Clark shouts out, “Well, up and at-em. We’re here.” A very funny scene that was played out for laughs in a movie that still hold up today. But the dangers of driving while drowsy is a very real situation.

Going without sleep can leave a person on the same conscious level of a drunk driver. Tens of thousands of accidents are caused every year, and 1 in 24 adults has admitted to recently dozing off at the wheel. These statistics don’t include accidents that aren’t reported, such as dozing off and hitting a curb, but regardless, this information is shocking. Younger drivers are more susceptible to this habit as they account for over half of these types of accidents. This damage can be prevented, however. There are measures that drivers can take to ensure they don’t doze off.

If a driver is feeling drowsy, it is important to acknowledge the signs and pull over. The driver can either pull over for the night at a motel or the driver can take a quick cat nap at a rest stop. Both of these options will give the driver the rest needed to be alert on the road. Especially during nighttime driving, drivers should consider drinking coffee or an energy drink when the first signs of drowsiness appears. This will provide the driver with temporary alertness so that the driver can find a safe place to pull over. Passengers can also help to keep the driver awake and more alert. Taking these precautions can help prevent an accident and even save lives.

Follow these simple procedures and you will be able to shout, “Well up and at -em, we’re here.”

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