A warning was issued this week against the dangers of drowsy driving by Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Fiala used the upcoming switch to Daylight Saving Time to remind drivers that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as distracted driving or driving under the influence of alcohol. Although not as common as distracted driving or DUI, drowsy driving reduces your reaction time and your ability to think clearly and make good decision.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that as many as 100,000 crashes each year are caused by drowsy driving, with more than 1,000 deaths as a result of those crashes.

New York defensive drivers understand the importance of being fully rested before climbing behind the wheel of their automobile to go anywhere. They understand that they need to be sharp to be driving in New York or any where, for that matter.

Fiala went so far as to release a statement cautioning anyone who is out driving to make certain they are well rested:

“In thousands of crashes each year on our highways, drowsiness or fatigue is reported as a contributing factor,” Fiala wrote. “Motorists must be cognizant of the warning signs of fatigue and avoid driving while drowsy, particularly as we make the adjustment to Daylight Saving Time.”

The hazards of drowsy driving extend far beyond simply falling asleep at the wheel. Just being a little sleepy while driving can be enough to slow your reaction time and impair your judgement. Either of these things alone is enough to increase your risks of having a crash. Combined, they are a recipe for disaster.

If you are driving in New York, or anywhere, make certain you only do it after you are have a good nights sleep. Remember, a well rested driver is a safe driver.

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