Drowsy Driving in National Spotlight


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will continue its focus on drowsy driving with a one-day forum to explore the prevalence, impact and dangers of drowsy driving on the nation’s roadways. According to the NTSB the event, “Awake, Alert, Alive: Overcoming the Dangers of Drowsy Driving,” will be held on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C.


The NTSB.gov web site describes “Awake, Alert, Alive” as an in-depth look at the risk factors for fatigue-related traffic crashes involving noncommercial vehicles. Board members and technical staff will question panelists on factors such as workplace issues, health issues and special concerns relating to young drivers. Forum panelists will also discuss countermeasures that could reduce the risk of drowsy driving crashes.


“Many people drive drowsy without realizing how dangerous it can be,” said Christopher Hart, acting NTSB chairman. “If we are going to prevent future fatalities and injuries, we must identify and address the root causes of drowsy driving.”


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.


The forum will be held in the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, located at 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W. Washington. The forum is free and open to the public. In addition, the forum can be viewed via webcast at ntsb.gov. Additional information about the forum including the agenda can be found on the forum website, www.ntsb.gov/drowsydriving.

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