Drowsy driving prevention week is Sept. 1-9

~ You snooze, you lose, Florida! Motorists should get adequate rest before getting behind the wheel. DHSMV offers safety tips for driving during inclement weather. ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is reminding motorists not to drive drowsy this Labor Day weekend. DHSMV is partnering with the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association and the Florida Trucking Association to recognize September 1-9, 2016 as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

Throughout the week of September 1-9, the department will remind drivers that if they are having difficulty focusing, yawning repeatedly or drifting into other lanes, it’s time to pull off the road. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week was established in 2010 with the Ronshay Dugans Act, as a time to remind everyone of the risks associated with drowsy driving. In 2008, eight-year old Ronshay Dugans lost her life after a cement truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit the school bus she was riding. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week honors her memory by reminding Florida of the impact drowsy driving can have.

As Florida families travel this Labor Day weekend, DHSMV offers additional safety tips for all motorists to prevent drowsy driving:

·         Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.

·         Read the warning information on all medications you take. If it will make you drowsy, do not drive a vehicle.

·         On long trips, take a break every two hours.

·         If you start feeling tired while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a nap if you can.

·         Use the “buddy system” and switch drivers when needed.

·         Drink caffeine. Two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.

·         Always drive sober. Even one drink is too many.

The department also urges motorists to monitor changing weather conditions and adjust their driving conditions as necessary. Here are driving safety tips to help you arrive alive when you absolutely must be out on the road during inclement weather:

·         Slow down: Roads are slick during and after a storm. If you have to drive, decrease your speed to avoid hydroplaning.

·         Buckle up: Seat belts are your vehicle’s best safety feature and save lives, but they only work if you use them.

·         Never drive through standing water: If you cannot see the roadway beneath the water, do not drive through it. The water may be deeper than it appears, the road may be washed away or the water may conceal debris, tree branches or even power lines.

·         Be prepared: Check for road closures by visiting the department’s website or calling 511. To report traffic crashes, stranded or disabled motorists or any suspicious incidents on Florida roadways, please dial *FHP (*347).

Visit the DHSMV’s website https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/drowsy-driving-is-dangerous-driving/ for more information and use the hashtag #DrowsyDrivingFL throughout the week to add and share important drowsy driving prevention information.