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Councilmember, Sheriff remind drivers about the dangers of Drowsy Driving

Summary

Drowsy driving is so preventable. Before driving, we all need to take a moment and assess our readiness to get behind the wheel. Doing that may help save a life

Story

Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert was joined today by the King County Sheriff’s office in reminding the public of the impact that “driving while drowsy” can have. The Sheriff joined the County Council in declaring Nov. 6-13 as “Drowsy Driving Awareness Week” in King County and across Washington State.

“Drowsy driving is so preventable. Before driving, we all need to take a moment and assess our readiness to get behind the wheel. Doing that may help save a life,” said Councilmember Lambert, “I’m grateful for the activism of William Shaw and Mary Beth Haggerty-Shaw who have done so much to make the public aware of this danger and also to the King County Sheriff’s Office for their promotion of this week every year. Together we can make a difference.”
11_07_drowsydriving_groupweb
Councilmember Kathy Lambert and
Chief King County King County
Sheriff Deputy Jim Pugel join
William Shaw, Wife Mary-Beth Haggerty Shaw, and
Daughter Mora Shaw prior to today’s
declaration of Nov. 6-13
as ‘Drowsy Driving Awareness Week’”

“Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence,” said Sheriff John Urquhart. “It’s critical you’re well rested before getting behind the wheel. Your life, and others’, depend on it.”

Recent statistics state that drowsy drivers cause 1550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 accidents each year in the U.S. The Washington State Patrol reports that from 2011 through 2015 there were 64 fatal collisions and 308 serious injury collisions investigated where a drowsy driver was involved.

William Shaw, publisher of Sound Publishing's Reporter Newspaper Group, is also a strong advocate of increasing peoples’ awareness. In 2006, Shaw’s daughter Mora was severely injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver. She survived but went through many years of treatment. Since this accident, Shaw and his wife Mary Beth Haggerty-Shaw have worked on making the public more aware of this major impediment to safe driving.

“With the busy holiday season and the dark days of winter upon us, many people will be traveling to friends and families to celebrate,” said Shaw. “Plan your route, plan your stops, get enough sleep before travelling. Think not only about your family or friends but of other people on the road. Driving when drowsy or tired and falling asleep at the wheel is a selfish act and has life-long repercussions that causes injuries and fatalities that devastate families.”

Some important points to remember about drowsy driving are:

• Anyone can fall asleep while driving – more than one third of drivers report falling asleep behind the wheel.

• There are some common sense things one can do to make driving safer:

     o For maximum alertness, get enough sleep before your trip. Take a mid-afternoon break, and avoid driving between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
     o Take a passenger to keep you talking, watch for signs of sleepiness, and share the driving.

• Schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles to take a quick nap or get some exercise.


More information on drowsy driving is available at www.drowsydriving.org


11_07_drowsydriving_1_KLweb 
Councilmembers and Chief King County King County Sheriff Deputy Jim Pugel join William Shaw,
Wife Mary-Beth Haggerty Shaw, and Daughter Mora Shaw .

 

 PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, King County recognizes the importance of safety when driving; and

WHEREAS, the AAA has found that one out of every four drivers admits to having a hard time keeping their eyes open when driving; and

WHEREAS, driving while fatigued is dangerous because it slows reaction time, impairs vision, and causes lapses in judgment, similar to drunk driving; and

WHEREAS, whereas a very fatigued driver may be asleep for several seconds without even realizing it; and

WHEREAS, drowsy drivers cause 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and more than 100,000 accidents each year in the U.S., including 16 deaths and 60 serious injuries in Washington State in 2010; and

WHEREAS, Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed November 6-13, 2016, as Washington State Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to raise awareness of safety while driving; and

WHEREAS, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 6-13, 2016, as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week; and

WHEREAS, these efforts, along with similar proclamations across the country, will encourage drivers to consider making safe choices when driving;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, proclaim November 6-13, 2016, as

DROWSY DRIVING PREVENTION WEEK

in King County and urge all residents to join in the national effort to encourage driving safely, to prevent deaths, injuries, and accidents.

DATED this seventh day of November, 2016.



Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Fax:
206-296-0198