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The Fatigued Driving Challenge
Summer is in the air. Days are longer and warmer and we’re all looking to make the most of the beautiful Alberta weather. Long drives to spend time with family and friends are in the forecast, and now more than ever, we must reinforce and mitigate the risks of driving tired. We all have commitments and reasons to push through when our heads start bobbing with fatigue – but driving tired is driving impaired, and in the end, it’s not worth the risk.
According to the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, 20% of fatal collisions can be linked to driver fatigue. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as impaired driving because it slows a driver’s reaction time, decreases awareness and can impair judgement like alcohol or drugs.
In order to put these impairments from fatigue to the test, we partnered with local radio stations in Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche, asking a host on each show to stay up for over 24 hours before hosting the on air show the next morning.
Both hosts were noticeably affected by their lack of sleep. They agreed to operate golf carts on a closed course in order to see how these affects might impair their driving. Neither one of them was able to finish the course without crashing several times. One of the hosts often races cars, so for him to make these errors says a lot about how his lack of sleep was impairing his ability to drive.
The entire experience was shared on air during both morning shows, and as a result we received lots of positive responses from those listening. Firefighters training for Fire Fit World stopped by to try out their skills in the golf carts. A highlight for the team was when a woman from Wandering River who had been listening to the broadcast decided to stop by the station to thank us for sharing this message.
We all need to remember the risks of fatigued driving not just during summer, but also all year round. Driving tired is driving impaired.