March 15-16, 2021, marked the Nation Drowsy Driving Prevention Campaign, reminding motorists to make sure they are awake and alert behind the wheel. District 11 partnered with the Bellevue Police Department and Lincoln Bakery in Bellevue Borough to introduce the "Donut Drive Drowsy" campaign in conjunction with the national effort. Pictured above, District 11 Safety Press Officer Yasmeen Manyisha represented the district.
The campaign uses a donut mascot to help spread the word of the dangers of drowsy driving to motorists. Drivers waking up early before getting on the road are encouraged to have a light breakfast before driving, such as a donut and coffee. To support the effort, during the week of the campaign, Lincoln Bakery offered customers a free coffee with the purchase of a dozen donuts and hung informational flyers in the store.
Early morning or late-night commutes partnered with lack of sleep often play a significant role in drowsy driving crashes. The people most impacted by this include those reporting to work early, teen drivers heading to school and commercial vehicle drivers, who regularly are behind the wheel for extended amounts of time.
Daylight Saving Time brings longer daylight hours, but the darker spring mornings can contribute to drowsy driving during the morning commutes.
Through the media, District 11 urged motorists to recognize the warning signs of drowsy driving. These include:
- Having trouble keeping your eyes open
- The inability to keep your head up
- Drifting from the lane or off the road
- Yawning frequently
Drivers were also reminded of tips to avoid and combat drowsy driving, including:
- Getting plenty of sleep prior to driving
- Avoiding alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment
- Taking breaks every two hours when taking long trips
- Pulling into a safe and legal place to take a quick nap if needed
It was a great community effort that brought awareness to a topic that is often overlooked. Visit www.PennDOT.gov/safety for more safe driving tips.