Feeling Sleepy? FHP Cracking Down On Drowsy Driving

September 2, 2014

Do you fight to keep your eyes open and your head up when you are tired? All too often this scenario is real on Florida’s roadways. To help prevent crashes caused by driver fatigue and to bring awareness to the  dangers of drowsy driving, the Department of  Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Florida Department of Transportation are teaming up with lawmakers and safety advocates this week for  Florida’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week September  1–7 in memory of Ronshay Dugan, who was killed by a drowsy driver in 2008.

“Alert drivers make for safer roads,” says DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “To help get everyone home safely, the Department reminds motorists never to drive tired.”

FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “The department recognizes that making our roads safer includes driver  responsibility and encourages all motorists not to drive drowsy. Be alert every trip, every time you get behind

“Six years ago, the life of a little girl was tragically taken in a crash that easily could have been prevented,” said  state Representative Alan Williams, who sponsored the legislation in 2010. “Drowsy driving can be eliminated by simply planning and making a conscious decision to pull over and rest when you’re tired. I applaud Ronshay’s family for keeping her memory alive and fighting to prevent other senseless deaths.”

Here are some tips to prevent drowsy driving from the Florida Highway Patrol

  • Allow plenty of time to get to your final destination.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
  • Drink caffeine. Two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before you travel.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.
  • Take a nap—find a safe place to take a 15 to 20-minute nap, if you think you might fall asleep.
  • Use the buddy system, switch drivers when needed.


9 Responses to “Feeling Sleepy? FHP Cracking Down On Drowsy Driving”

  1. M in Bratt on September 4th, 2014 9:34 am

    It’s a scary thought that the legislature is looking at this as an issue that another law can correct. What’s next? are they going to make us keep a log book like the truckers do to make sure we have had enough rest to drive? As a retired long haul driver, my observations tell me that the texters and cell phone talkers are by far a worse road hazard than tired drivers.

  2. Mike Powers on September 3rd, 2014 2:01 pm

    My understanding is each FHP patrol car will be outfitted with an espresso machine and a tea maker. Fatigued drivers will be able to simply pull up to parked FHP patrol cars to get a cup of their favorite stimulating beverage. The baristas, er officers will be making all beverages to order.

  3. Richard Walker on September 3rd, 2014 1:45 am

    One person might be most tired between midnight and 6:00am, BUT, others (like me) are very awake during that time period.

    Coffee can take up to a half hour to kick in, so don’t expect to have your eyes pop open after one sip.

    Chewing gum can force oxygen to your brain and make you much more alert.

  4. haley on September 2nd, 2014 3:02 pm

    SERIOUSLY??????? Just like Paul said above, let’s concentrate on these idiots who text, put makeup on, talk, etc. before looking at fatigued drivers. I don’t know how many times I have seen drivers literally run off the road in texting situations. Ive seen ppl veer into another lane as they are texting Cmon lawmakers, how many innoccent ppl have been killed because of ppl on their cell phones? Let’s take care of this first. Fatigued driver may be a hazard, but compare it to the lives the ppl lost to idiots on their cell phone. RIDICULOUS!!!!!

  5. fishbait on September 2nd, 2014 12:06 pm

    I applaud any effort to encourage safety. Teaming with “lawmakers” is somewhat frightening. If the legislature tries to determine benchmark legal definitions for “drowsy driving”, this could turn into another nightmare. The police already enjoy almost unlimited discretion in pulling over and “checking out” motorists, not to mention their random road-block tests.

    It seems that each individual has a different degree of tolerance to fatigue, would seem to be a legal boondoggle to define. How would one go about defending themselves against such a charge? But individuals have differing tolerances to alcohol and they certainly created benchmarks for that situation. Looks like another goldmine for the attorneys is on the way. I can picture the ads for attorneys specializing in “drowsy driver” defense cases.

  6. JD on September 2nd, 2014 9:30 am

    Also when the FHP pulls up behind you when you are trying to take a nap because you are tired will they write you a ticket?

  7. paul on September 2nd, 2014 8:14 am

    Still waitin for them to do something about distracted driving.. Sit at any light during rush hour traffic and count the people who “THINK” they’re good enough to drive while texting or talking on their phones.. This really burns me up..More people are dying from distracted driving than feeling sleepy..

  8. confused on September 2nd, 2014 7:05 am

    Simple question:

    How does the FHP or any other LEO identify a drowsy driver vs texting driver vs DWI vs DUI?

    I will hang up and listen.

  9. ME on September 2nd, 2014 1:58 am

    The worst time to be on the road is between midnight and 6 a.m.