California Highway Patrol is launching a week long campaign to remind drivers that if they are feeling drowsy, or tired, they should get off the road and start driving again after they have had some rest.

“Fatigued drivers are a safety risk on our roadways,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. “If you are tired, reaction time and judgment can become impaired. Tired drivers behave similarly to those who are intoxicated.”

Monday was the start of the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week and CHP was ready to start enforcing some common sense rules for drivers.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for police to identify drivers who are feeling drowsy until they commit some driving offense, like smashing into a tree, or driving off the road, but that doesn’t mean the CHP can’t use public service messages and gently reminders to help keep drivers safe.

The CHP has partnered with the National Sleep Foundation to promote safe driving, and getting enough rest:

* Get enough sleep, at least 7-9 hours, to help maintain alertness.
* On long road trips, schedule breaks every couple of hours or every 100 miles.
* When possible, travel with a companion who can take a turn behind the wheel or help keep the driver awake.
* Avoid driving at times when you would normally be asleep.
* Avoid alcohol or medications that cause drowsiness.
* Consume caffeine as it increases alertness.
* When tiredness sets in, exit the highway and find a safe location to park and rest. Do not pull over on the shoulder of the freeway to rest, which can be extremely dangerous.