Car crashes as a result of lack of sleep or drowsiness are underreported, Brown said.
The number of crashes due to drowsiness is almost eight times higher than the federal estimate, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Drivers should also be aware of more pedestrians as the weather breaks and the sunlight lasts longer bringing more people outdoors.
“For pedestrians, we ask you to use the crosswalks appropriately and use them when the sign says to go. If you’re in a vehicle watch out for pedestrians,” said Sgt. Gordon Cairns, Dayton Police Department Traffic Unit supervisor. “Last year we had nine fatalities involving pedestrians and this year we obviously want to reduce that number to zero.”
There is also an expected increase in the number of other motorists on the road.
“We want to remind people if you are on a motorcycle to watch out for vehicles, and if you’re in a vehicle to just watch out for those motorcycles. Last year we did have four motorcycle fatalities in the city and obviously we want to reduce that number,” said Cairns.
AAA suggests travelers drive during times they would normally be awake, avoid eating large meals and taking medications that could cause drowsiness, and wearing sunglasses to keep the eyes from tiring due to sun glare. Brown said the only real remedy to drowsy driving is sleep.
“Drinking coffee doesn’t necessarily sustain you from falling asleep, neither does loud music or cold air when you roll your window down. Your body, once it gets tired, it’s going to be tired and the only way to re-energize is to take a quick nap,” he said.