Road rage causes wrongful death1

February 16th's Atlanta Journal Constitution had an article again noting the importance of sleep. Sleep is frequently a big problem for all drivers - particularly truck drivers who have to drive long hours or at night. As a result, there are limits on drivers hours. However, those rules are sometimes broken with disastrous results that can cause death or serious injuries.

Read the article below for some important tips

DRIVER'S ED: Tired? Well, big sleep is forever

zzzZZZ...

zzzZZZ...

Uh? Wha? Sorry. Must a dozed off for a bit. Which can be embarrassing behind a keyboard but is flat-out deadly dangerous behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 100,000 crashes a year are caused by DWD —- driving while drowsy.

When you're driving at 65 mph, in just 3 seconds you'll travel more than 100 yards. And that is a long ways to go with your eyes closed and no control of your car. Just being drowsy ups the odds you'll make a mistake like misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when you're making a left turn.

And don't be too sure you know when you're too sleepy to be driving. In one study of drivers who crashed after falling asleep at the wheel, half said they felt only "somewhat sleepy" or "not at all sleepy" just before the loud bang. Here are some tips:

1 Hot java. A cup of coffee is tasty, but it ain't a magic potion. The caffeine will help you be a bit more alert, but it takes 30 minutes to get into your bloodstream and the effects last just a couple of hours. And you can still nod off for a couple of seconds.

2 Start rested. Working hard all day Friday and heading to Orlando to be at Braves spring training first thing Saturday morning is a bad idea. Less than six hours of shut-eye increases risk of falling asleep.

3 Stop and stretch. Stop every two hours or so and get out of the car to move around. Even if it's just to walk into the convenience store to get a Coke.

4 Warning signs. Pull over soon as you safely can if you find yourself having a hard time keeping your eyes open or focusing on the road ahead. If you're drifting from lane to lane or tailgating or hitting the rumble strips on the shoulder, it's time to stop. It's better to take a little longer to get where you're going than not get there at all.

Ed got his tips from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Ed is a shade-tree mechanic who talks like a dipstick but knows his way around one.