Every day, about 28 Americans die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. In recent years, we have been been using extensive research, public awareness campaigns and strict laws to prevent the horrific consequences of drunk driving. In fact, minimum-drinking-age laws have saved more than 31,000 lives since 1975. It is extremely important that we continue these efforts to reduce the amount of drunk-driving incidents in our country. But there is another life-threatening problem that has caused a staggering amount of accidents on the road- drowsy driving. In Staten Island alone, there were about 127 collisions and 93 injuries that resulted from drowsy or fatigued driving from 2012 to 2016.
In a recent press conference, Borough President James Oddo, spoke about this growing problem in our city and highlighted the possibility that “microsleeps,” a short period of sleep of unconsciousness, are the root cause of these accidents. These unintended periods of sleep can last seconds or minutes depending on the scenario and often happen when the driver’s eyes are open. Individuals 18 years of age or older are advised to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to ensure complete awareness behind the wheel. As this number of hours decreases, the chances of getting in an accident increases.
James Oddo has started an initiative called “Sleep Well, Staten Island,” to educate Staten Islanders about the importance of sleep and the consequences of drowsy driving. Help us join the initiative by sharing this article on your social media platforms. Getting the right amount of sleep each night could save someone’s life- don’t take sleep lightly.