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New York State Partnership Against Drowsy Driving (NYPDD)

(Front row) Gina Gillooley, Michael Sweeney, Peter Bucci, Regina Doyle, Jennifer Hogan, Adam Hornick, Todd Engwer
(Back row) Nick Macherone, Kate Kennett, Aja Lownes, Robert Zitowsky and Tony D’Agostino (Missing, Peter Manella)

State Partnership Addresses Drowsy Driving Crash Issues

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), estimates drowsy drivers cause at least 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in more than 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses*. In New York State, there were more than 4,500 crashes where “fell asleep or fatigued/drowsy driving” were contributing factors in police-reported crashes in 2014*. While every driver must be awake and alert at the wheel, there are certain groups who are at an increased risk for drowsy driving crashes: Commercial Drivers, high school and college students, new parents, shift workers, business travelers, young male drivers and people with untreated sleep disorders.

The New York State’s Partnership Against Drowsy Driving (NYPDD), which was created in 2003 and is facilitated by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention, is a joint effort to educate the public and high-risk groups about the dangers of fatigued/drowsy driving and promote the adoption of preventive strategies. Awareness activities are conducted annually during Drowsy Driving Prevention (November) and Sleep Awareness (March) weeks. The weeks are always coordinated with daylight savings time.

Members of the NYPDD include representatives from the AAA Hudson Valley, New York Association for Pupil Transportation, New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, New York State Association of Traffic Safety Boards, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), New York State Thruway Authority, New York State Motor Truck Association, New York State Police and the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. Partners meet regularly to share traffic data on drowsy driving and work cooperatively to conduct projects to raise public awareness of the risks of drowsy driving. The partnership encourages the adoption of prevention strategies among the general public and high-risk populations.

The NYPDD has worked collaboratively to conduct press events and public awareness campaigns on local and state levels. The NYSDOH has also developed publications that are available to support drowsy driving prevention activities. To obtain these free publications, or for more information about the NYPDD and how you can get involved, please contact Jennifer Hogan of the NYSDOH, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention at (518) 402-7900 or Jennifer.hogan@health.ny.gov.

*Source: DrowsyDriving.org
*Source: Compiled by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) on 10/25/15 with data from the NYSDMV

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