Letters & Opinion

Talking Things Through — Drowsy Driver Awareness Day

Image of the car flipped onto its roof.

April 6th was observed as Drowsy Awareness Day in California. Yes, this is quite literally a day for celebrating awareness of the dangers of driving and riding motorcycles for long distances without a rest, or when one is very tired or sleepy. Many persons agree that it is a day that should be observed in all countries around the world since drowsiness is said to impair driving just as much as alcohol, as stated by the United States National Sleep Foundation. According to US statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that drowsy driving was responsible for approximately six thousand fatal crashes in the United States each year.

Almost all vehicular accidents in St. Lucia are thought to be the result of reckless driving, but drowsy driving is also part of the problem. It hinders our perceptions and our defence mechanisms. A lot of us are good drivers, but good drivers have accidents too, and these accidents usually occur when we are not fully aware. Some of us, who are determined or driven, are inspired to do whatever we feel we must do regardless of how drowsy we are. And often times, those of us who are driven are found driving throughout all our drowsiness as well. Do not let heavy eyelids compromise your driving credibility. Take a rest. We have had lots of accidents in St. Lucia over the years, which are not all related to intoxication or carelessness. Some of these accidents are related to drowsy driving, and indeed, that too is definitely regarded as a form of carelessness, which could be just as tragic.

So… today is Saturday and surely there are lots of drowsy people who are moving about in consequence of a long week, the escapades of the night before, or the Friday night lime. We have lots to do today that we have allowed to accumulate throughout the week; but our lack of sleep is accumulating too, and it reacts every time we sit comfortably behind the wheel. We may be excellent drivers, and we may have a high tolerance for alcohol which we think will keep us unimpaired, but there is little that we can do once our drowsiness takes the wheel.

So, it is important for us to get enough sleep and/or treatment for our sleeping disorders, and to refrain from drinking alcohol before driving. Those of us who drink are increasing our level of drowsiness when we drive, and those of us who are already drowsy are making things worse when we drink and drive. Reckless driving is usually a combination of two or more negative elements. We are operating heavy machinery every time we drive or ride a motorcycle and great care and conscientiousness are equally as important to do so as our ability to drive and ride. Stay awake. This is not California, but today and every day should be Drowsy Driver Awareness Day.

Allen is a reporter employed at The Voice Publishing Company. He has had a passion for reading, writing, story telling and theater for as long as he can remember. His interest in history, philosophy and the human condition, have inspired him to think deeply about life which has in turn given him many things to write about. He enjoys writing articles which educate, inspire, and enlighten the reader; and articles which provoke the reader to look at things from a fresh and different perspective.Read full bio...

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