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New Zealand Drowsy Driver Awareness Day

This year’s New Zealand Drowsy Driver Awareness Day is making drivers aware of the dangers of ‘micro-sleeping’ on the roads.

A ‘micro-sleep’ is a brief sleep episode that lasts between 3-10 seconds. Micro-sleeps can occur at any time that a person is sleep deprived. This can be as a result of poor quality sleep, sleep debt build-up, staying up late, socialising or working long hours…etc

In a 3 second micro-sleep a vehicle travels 83 metres (almost the length of a football field) when travelling at 100 km/hr ! This is well across the centreline of the road and the cause of many head-on crashes. Your eyes do not have to be shut for your mind to be asleep !

Drowsy driving crashes are underreported in New Zealand, but road safety experts now accept that drowsy driving is a factor in over 20% of crashes.

The AKILLA drowsy driving educational campaign was set up to educate New Zealanders about the dangers of drowsy driving. The campaign was officially launched on May 31st 2005. The New Zealand Drowsy Driver Awareness Day was acknowledged by Government transport ministers in their new policy speeches (‘A Planned Educational Strategy’ - released on the 13th 2006, at Parliament.)

More educational information, including real life experiences of drowsy driving are available on the official AKILLA campaign website that can be found at www.akilla.co.nz

New Zealand Sleep Safety Ltd is one of only two New Zealand members of the Global Alliance of NGO’s for Road Safety. Together the members have recently won the prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for the “Commit To Act Campaign”.

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