The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has launched its annual Drowsy Driving Prevention campaign.

Throughout September, FLHSMV will focus on educating drivers to recognize the signs of exhaustion, how to prevent drowsiness when planning to be behind the wheel, and what to do if they are tired or displaying signs of fatigue while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes drowsy driving as risky driving behavior, in the same way that driving while drunk, drug-impaired, distracted, without a seatbelt, or at excessive speeds is risky.

“When you get behind the wheel, certain necessary things need to operate for your car to start; the same goes for you to safely control it as the driver,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner.

“It is important to know the signs of fatigue and how it can impact your driving. If you are tired, pull over and rest. Do not risk your life or the life of others on the road by continuing to drive while drowsy.”

FLHSM has issued the following advice to motorists to avoid the risk of drowsy driving:

  • Get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel; it is the best way to ensure you can maintain alertness while driving.
  • Read the warning label on your medications, and do not drive after taking medications that cause drowsiness.
  • On long trips, take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination.
  • Use the “buddy system” so you can change drivers when needed.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep. If you have difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids, pull over in a safe place to rest before continuing to drive.