CHP launches effort to stop drowsy driving

Bay Area

The California Highway Patrol is launching a new effort to stop people from drowsy driving.

For the next week, the CHP and Caltrans will be focusing on reminding people to pull over and rest if they feel tired.

The California Highway Patrol says that drowsy driving is a huge problem, on par with drunk driving and distracted driving.

The CDC says that going without sleep for at least 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol content of .05.

“It can mirror the exact same effects,” CHP Officer Kurtis Waldschmidt said. “Routinely, we make stops trying to seek out impaired drivers, and frequently, it’s just being on the road too long or lack of sleep.”

Hoping to wake people up to the problem, the CHP is teaming up with Caltrans and the Office of Traffic Safety to get the word out.

The CHP says that even though driving while tired isn’t illegal, it could lead other violations.

“Whether it’s unsafe or making unsafe lane changes toward another vehicle, or failing to realize your speed or failing to see a red light,” Officer Waldschmidt said.

The CHP is also reminding drivers that there are 80 roadside rest stops across the state, but if you can’t find one, look for other ways to take a break.

If you are tired on the road, the CHP encourages you to take the next exit and find a safe place to park. If that’s not an option, they encourage getting a caffeinated beverage–something to help.

The worst case scenario is to pull over and find a safe place to park and get a ride home.

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