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Drowsy while driving: 7 warning signs to pay attention to (and a podcast to stay awake)

Reduce the risk of road accidents due toexcessive drowsiness, one of the main causes of accidents on the roads. Not a simple task with which they have recently faced Q8 And Assirem with a dedicated campaign. The statistics regarding the causes of road accidents, in fact, show worrying data: 80% are caused by «human factor» and in this segment a large number arise exactly from the drowsy condition of one of the parties involved.

22% of accidents are in fact due to falling asleep while it is estimated that sleeping less than five hours before getting behind the wheel increases the risk of accident by 4.5 times. Furthermore, staying awake for 24 consecutive hours can cause driving errors comparable to those of a drunk individual. Further research then demonstrated that the risk of accidents is up to 7 times greater for 27% of adults suffering from Osasthe obstructive apnea syndrome during sleep caused by occlusion of the airways.

Q8, one of the main players in the mobility sector, and Assirem, the Italian Association for research and education in sleep medicine, have decided to join forces to launch a countryside to raise awareness of problems related to sleep disorders and safe driving. «We wanted this partnership with Assirem – he explains Fortunate Constantine, director of Human Resources, Legal & Corporate Affairs of the energy group – to implement concrete initiatives and make available useful tools to raise awareness among the population behind the wheel, stimulating greater self-awareness and the risks associated with drowsiness while driving. A project perfectly in line with our commitment to sustainability understood in all its dimensions, convinced that businesses must play not only an economic but also a social role in supporting the community and the territory”.

The 7 signs to watch out for

But how do you do it? recognize drowsiness in time and to anticipate its effects? Pierluigi Innocentineurologist and president of Assirem Ets., always recommends avoiding driving at night, driving only after having adequately rested and undergoing screening for sleep apnea in case of suspicion.

THE alarm bells to pay attention to are the following:

1.Begin to yawn
2. Having difficulty keeping your eyes open
3.Note if the head tends to droop
4. Not remembering exactly the last kilometers spent
5.Finding yourself too close to the car in front
6.Inadvertently finding yourself on the other lane
7.Not having seen a road sign

«Sleep disorders are on the rise social epidemic with serious consequences for health, quality of life and safety at work and on the roads – says Innocenti – Q8 and Assirem intend to face this challenge with an information campaign in Q8 service stations in the coming months”. The two partners have therefore launched a series of initiatives and information materials which will be available at Q8 distributors, on the ClubQ8 App and on the dedicated website. The first is the creation of a test accessible via the ClubQ8 website and app which allows you to evaluate the risk profile linked to the quality of drivers' sleep, developed by Assirem and Nomisma. The second initiative concerns the organization of informative webinars which cover various topics such as the circadian rhythm, the importance of sleep for health and excessive daytime sleepiness while driving. Finally, one will be made available guide which provides practical information on sleep management, including tips for recognizing sleep disorders, especially while driving.

The anti-sleep podcast

Another initiative on road safety has recently started, called PodCarStories: this is of course a podcast, promoted by Sara Insurance, specially designed to prevent falling asleep while driving and at night. Thanks to a strategic mix of contents designed specificallythe series in fact proposes a neuroscientific flow of stories, entertainment and music capable of organically integrating into the attention spans especially of a night driver, adapting the storytelling to the progress of driving in its different hours and improving wakefulness, reactivity and safe entertainment.

The project was born from an idea of Content+, the content unit of Mindshare, and was developed in collaboration with the Podcastory team, a leader in the production of audio content, including a sound engineer and a sleep neuroscientist, for the creation of sounds with high emotional impact. «PodCarStories also has a highly innovative impact on a social level – we read in a note – despite the fact that it is still widely underestimated as a determining factor of risk, and is almost never taken into consideration as a cause in itself, overshadowed by more obvious factors such as speed, distraction or weather conditions, Drowsiness, underline the ACI data, is now the cause of one in five road accidents and one of the main factors causing fatal accidents on the motorway. Furthermore, accidents caused by falling asleep are the most serious ones due to the total inaction of the driver who, falling asleep, has no awareness of the imminent danger.”

PodCarStories consists of four playlists each lasting approximately 50 minutes – for a total of 200 minutes of travel – each with a dedicated story theme: travel, night, adventure, time. Each playlist is designed to adapt to the user: upon entering the car the driver can therefore choose the one most suited to the topics he wants to delve into, the format brings different genres and topics on board, organized along four thematic categories – road safety, entertainment, travel and mobility. Each episode includes a dynamic mix of music, entertainment, curiosities and stand-ups that accompany the driver while driving, modulating contents and sounds to adapt to the progression of time and therefore to the possible variation in reactivity during night driving. The common thread running through the entire series is Sara's narrative voice, which accompanies the listener along the journey and underlines the importance of safe and responsible driving, also through proactive messages inviting people to stop. The podcast is available on all the main podcast stores and on the Sara Assicurazioni website.

More stories by Vanity Fair that may interest you

Road safety, a campaign to not accept that dying on the road “is normal”

What happens to the brain after a sleepless night

Source: Vanity Fair

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