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Zero Fatalities Week: Drive Alert

Driving while drowsy is a common behavior behind the wheel that contributes to crashes and fatalities
Posted at 9:49 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 13:30:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY — If you're feeling a little extra tired, you can blame Daylight Saving, but the truth is most of us are constantly on the go.

Driving while drowsy is a common behavior that contributes to crashes and fatalities.

In this Week of Zero story, in partnership with Zero Fatalities, a Utah man says he knows about the dangers first-hand.

Matt Hansen says, "I was feeling, not overly drowsy but thought oh I'll turn on some music and see if I can sing along to that and keep me going whatever." But even the loud music didn't keep him alert as he drove along I-15 from Salt Lake to Logan.

"Next thing I know, I get woken up from the rumbling of driving through the weeds and the dirt in the pit between the two directions of traffic," Matt says.

His immediate reaction was to get back on the freeway, but when he did, his car rolled.

Looking at the car after the crash, it's hard to imagine he wasn't seriously hurt.

Hansen says, "I just feel incredibly blessed and lucky that something worse didn't happen because I definitely was on death's doorstep that day.

Zero Fatalities say those who sleep six hours or less are three times more likely to crash. Staying awake for 18 hours is equal to being intoxicated.

You're more likely to fall asleep at the wheel if you're on a long drive without proper rest breaks, driving alone, or driving on a long, rural or dark road.

Lt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol says,"The best thing to do is listen to your body, pull over, get a drink or something to eat or even take a cat nap on the side of the road."

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