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New Years Eve in Las Vegas with 8 News NOW

UDOT targets drowsy drivers in new campaign

Local News

It’s a question the Utah Department of Transportation wants you to ask yourself before getting behind the wheel.

Are you too tired to drive? On Thursday, UDOT launched its Zero Fatalities Campaign targeting drowsy as well as young drivers.

“Summer months we tend to see more of the drowsy driving crashes more than the rest of the year,” said John Gleason, UDOT’s Public Information Officer.

It’s sadly a scenario Chris Draper knows about. Draper was involved in a drowsy driving crash with his cousin.

“Both of our parents said ‘don’t do it,'” said Draper. “We were both 19, 20 years old and we were like ‘eh, we know better.’ We went around this corner. The sun was just starting to come up. It was beautiful. The next thing I knew I was waking up off the freeway.”

Draper shared his experience as part of UDOT’s campaign at Saint Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Among the speakers was Dr. Kristopher Mitchell, Trauma Medical Director of St. Mark’s Hospital. Dr. Mitchell says a drowsy brain is similar to a drunk brain.

“The reaction times are very similar,” said Dr. Mitchell. “If you lose just two hours of sleep and get behind the wheel, your brain acts as if you’re under the influence of alcohol.”

Dr. Mitchell says it’s important to recognize when you’re tired. He recommends if you’re taking long road trips to get a full nights rest, and only drive during your normal waking hours.


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