Drowsy driving put in focus earlier this month across Florida

Drowsy driving, a problem among both truckers and ordinary motorists, conducted an enforcement campaign earlier this month aimed at drowsy driving. The campaign, sponsored by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation, was aimed at raising awareness of the problem of drowsy driving and increasing roadway safety.

The campaign is authorized every year by the Roshnay Dugans Act, which declared the first week of every September as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week throughout the state of Florida. Roshnay Dugans was an 8-year-old girl who was killed by a driver in 2008 while she rode a school bus. The individual who caused the accident fell asleep behind the wheel of a cement truck.

There are a variety of reasons why individuals fall asleep at the wheel. Most at risk are young males between the ages of 16 and 29, nighttime shift workers and those with irregular hours, and those who suffer from sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Anybody can become fatigued behind the wheel, though, and all of us have a responsibility to exercise judgment before operating a motor vehicle. This is especially the case with commercial vehicle drivers.

Truck drivers can easily become fatigued because of their schedule and the long hours on the road. To address this risk, federal regulations require truckers to take periodic rest breaks to ensure they are adequately rested. Unfortunately, truckers and their employers don’t always abide by these regulations. When this happens, accident victims have the right to hold responsible parties accountable.

Sources:

Northescambia.com, “Feeling Sleepy? FHP Cracking Down On Drowsy Driving,” September 2, 2014.

Drowsy Driving Florida, “You Snooze, You Lose—Don’t Drive Drowsy,” Accessed September 18, 2014.