Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Zero Fatalities Iowa has won a national grant to continue its efforts to educate drivers about the dangers of driving drowsy.
Tracey Bramble of the Iowa DOT says they started the campaign two years ago with displays in rest areas that look like the Pac Man game and say “Don’t let the Sleepyzzz get you.” The new plan is to develop a virtual reality visualization that shows drowsy driving is not a game.
She says they want drivers to be able to recognize when they are in these situations and know what to do.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driving drowsy causes more than 100-thousand crashes, 15-hundred deaths, and 71-thousand injuries every year. Bramble says it is hard to know how many drivers in Iowa are behind the wheel without enough sleep.
She says shift workers are often the ones who end up getting behind the wheel without enough sleep.
The 15-thousand dollar grant from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and The National Road Safety Foundation will allow them to develop the virtual reality experience.
She says the virtual reality library will have the videos they produce for the Iowa State Fair booth along with this new video. Iowa is one of five states to receive funding to continue its program. Zero Fatalities Iowa is a collaboration between the DOT, public safety, public health, and the Iowa Insurance Division to try and drop the number of fatal accidents on Iowa roadways to zero. For more information, go to their website.