Stay Alert, Stay Safe!
May 16, 2023
Not everybody drives the same way you do.
A long stretch of empty road and a warm and comfortable vehicle would sound like a terrific combination to many driving enthusiasts. Paired with a lack of sleep, an overworked mental state and eyelids that seem to be getting heavier and heavier, however, this combination can spell disaster.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem on Canadian roads. To mark this year’s National Road Safety Week, May 16-22, the Canada Safety Council is reminding Canadians of the impacts that drowsy driving can have on not only the driver experiencing it, but road users around them as well.
One of the biggest risks of drowsy driving is impaired driving performance. When drivers are tired, reaction times are accordingly slower. Decision-making ability is impaired. Attention to the road ahead is diminished. These factors can make it much more difficult to respond to unexpected situations on the road, and in turn increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Fatigued driving is frequently cited as affecting one in five drivers, and even this statistic is underreported owing to the nature of the issue.
“Fatigue is a serious threat to road safety, and a problem that affects everyone on the road,” said Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council. “All drivers must take the risks of fatigue seriously, and take steps to stay alert and focused on the road.”
To combat the risks of drowsy driving, there are a number of strategies that drivers can use to stay alert and focused on the road. These include, but are not limited to:
- getting adequate rest before driving
- taking breaks during long trips
- avoiding driving during times when you would normally be sleeping.
Avoid relying on methods including drinking caffeine, rolling down the windows or raising the volume of the car stereo. These are temporary at best and fail to address the root of the issue – namely, a lack of proper sleep.
For drivers who struggle with getting enough rest, sleep aids like Sleep Tracks can also be helpful. Sleep Tracks is a series of sleep aids that are designed to promote restful sleep and demonstrate how effective the roads can be at putting the user to sleep. The system uses modified sound waves and repetitive sound patterns to help users fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.
You can find one of the three tracks, with audio from Highway 401 in Ontario, below:
Ultimately, the risks and impacts of drowsy driving in Canada are significant, but drivers can and should take steps to protect themselves and others on the road. Be a responsible road user and help keep Canada’s roads safe for all.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, National Projects, Canada Safety Council
About the Canada Safety Council
The Canada Safety Council is a national, non-government, charitable organization dedicated to safety. Our mission is to lead in the national effort to reduce preventable deaths, injuries and economic loss in public and private places throughout Canada.