130m Licensed Americans Ignore Risks of Driving While Fatigued

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Results from a General Motors Acceptance Corporation Insurance study that was announced indicate that Americans have an intense disconnect when it comes to the risks of driving while fatigued.

The GMAC Insurance study, which polled 5,175 licensed Americans from all fifty states and the District of Columbia, found that 96 percent of drivers said that they know that driving while tired is just as dangerous as driving while drunk. However, their actual behaviors indicate a direct contrast; 65 percent, approximately 130 million Americans, admit they would drive more than seven hours in one day alone when traveling without significant breaks.

The disturbing results were revealed as millions of Americans will be hitting the open road for the fourth of July holiday, which is also the deadliest driving day of the year, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). Additionally, it was noted by the Institute that July third is the second deadliest day.

Throughout the summer season, Americans will continue to add mileage on their odometers with prolonged road trips. The Institute reported that the most miles are traveled in August than any other month. "Everybody has their own personal threshold, but we believe that driving seven hours without significant breaks is pushing the limit," said Gary Kusumi, the CEO and president of GMAC Insurance - Personal Lines. "And there's no question that driving while fatigued is dangerous. More than 100,000 crashes each year are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel."

Casey Mears, the driver of the No. 25 National Guard/GMAC Chevrolet and recent winner of his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race, said that staying alert is critical when driving any long distance. And long-lasting rides are something Mears knows a thing or two about. In May, Mears grabbed his first victory after driving 600 miles at Lowe's Motor Speedway in NASCAR's longest race of the year.

"When people hit the roads for long trips this summer, they really need to keep tabs on their level of fatigue," Mears said. "It doesn't pay to skimp on sleep, and coffee and cat naps are only a quick fix. Getting plenty of rest is one of the keys to staying safe and being at your best, whether you're driving down the interstate or making laps around the race track."

Mears offered a number of tips to keep summer travel safe, fun, and full of great memories. He said that drivers must plan ahead. The best way to make sure you are alert? Get proper rest ahead of time before setting off on your road trip. Second, avoid alcohol. Even the tiniest amount of alcohol can make you drowsy. If you'll be driving, avoid it all together. If possible, take a buddy. take a buddy along on long trips, so you can take turns driving. Limit driving after midnight, he added, avoid driving between midnight and six a.m., when you are most likely to feel fatigued. Finally, he said, if you feel drowsy, the safest thing to do is to pull over and stop driving. As soon as possible, drive to the closest safe resting spot, such as a motel or a friend's house, and catch up on your sleep.

The thing is not just to secure or other auto parts for that matter - the driver must exude the right driving attitude.

GMAC is the financial services arm of General Motors Corp., the world's largest automobile manufacturer. GMAC Financial Services offers a suite of financial programs covering automotive financing, insurance and mortgage operations in forty countries around the globe. The company also operates Nuvell Financial Services, for rival automakers, within its automotive financing division.

Auto Insurance
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Auto Insurance
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles