Safe driving is very important to me, especially as a Mom, and especially now that I have a Teen driver in the family.
Chevrolet created a demonstration to show just how dangerous Drowsy Driving is, and I got to experience it firsthand. Outfitted with a set of weights and a pair of goggles that intermittently kept me from seeing, I attempted to drive a Chevy Equinox, and it was terrifying.
I wore a weighted vest, ankle and wrist weights, and they all were designed to slow down my reaction times and ability to safely drive the vehicle, which is what happens to us when we’re drowsy.
The special goggles I wore were connected to a computer program that allowed me to see clearly only part of the time. There was a 1-second “blink” that took place every 4-10 seconds that simulates what happens when driving drowsy. And even a 1-second blink can be dangerous.
I was barely able to get the vehicle up to 30 mph in the relative safety of the parking lot where the demonstration took place, but even at that speed, the “blink” meant I had no idea where I was going – and truly, it meant I had no control over the vehicle.
Imagine if I’d been driving at 45 mph – or had been on the highway going 65+. Terrifying.
The demonstration was a fun exercise for me, because the only threat to my safety (or the safety of the vehicle) was a line of orange cones. Had I been on a street, driving drowsy, there could have been much more at stake.
I hope, in the era of Uber and Lyft, as well as cell phones when you can text a friend or family member for a ride, that we can stop letting ourselves drive drowsy. And I’m grateful to Chevrolet for showing me just how dangerous it is.
Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of MomsLA.com.