By Bay City News Service
The California Highway Patrol is launching a campaign this week to raise awareness about the dangers of driving while drowsy.
Today marks the start of the National Sleep Foundation's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, and the CHP is reminding drivers of the potentially deadly consequences of getting behind the wheel while sleepy.
"Fatigued drivers are a safety risk on our roadways," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "If you are tired, reaction time and judgment can become impaired. Tired drivers behave similarly to those who are intoxicated."
In 2010, there were more than 3,600 collisions statewide involving sleepy drivers. The crashes caused 32 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries, according to the CHP.
The CHP and National Sleep Foundation encourage drivers to take steps to reduce their risk of falling asleep. That includes getting seven to nine hours of sleep before driving, avoiding driving at times when one would normally sleep, avoiding alcohol or medications that may cause drowsiness, and making sure to take breaks every 100 miles or so on long road trips.