The Stony Brook University School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM) was featured in a report issued by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, which showcased the work of SHTM’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Program and commitment to this important public health issue.
During the past several years, the SHTM’s Drowsy Driving Prevention team has established strong and collaborative relationships with New York State and national organizations, including the New York State Partnership Against Drowsy Driving (NYPDD), the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC), and the National Roadside Safety Foundation (NRSF) to target the issue of drowsy driving. In 2017, with funding from GTSC and NRSF, the SHTM developed an educational and interactive website to raise awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving. The website, StopDrowsyDriving.org, includes a sleepiness assessment quiz to help users realize their own risk for drowsy driving, facts and myths about the problem, and strategies to help improve sleep habits to reduce incidence of falling asleep at the wheel and resulting crashes.
Through additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the Drowsy Driving Prevention team also completed a data collection and curriculum development project on the Stony Brook campus. The research showed that among 1,119 commuter students surveyed, 87% have experienced drowsy driving and 37% have fallen asleep at the wheel. To address this issue, the team developed a data-driven, and theory-based, educational curriculum that was piloted on the Stony Brook campus and has since been promoted on numerous college campuses across New York State, including Suffolk County Community College, Nassau Community College, Columbia University, SUNY Albany and SUNY Buffalo. The program also has conducted “train-the-trainer” sessions to teach other college educators how to discuss the risks of drowsy driving with their students.
For the second year in a row, the Drowsy Driving Prevention program is working with NRSF, New York State Department of Health, and GTSC to promote a “Stay Awake! Stay Alive!” PSA contest on SUNY college campuses to help raise additional awareness about drowsy driving. Students are encouraged to participate and compete for the best PSAs raising awareness on how to recognize the signs of drowsiness as the driver, passenger or others on the road and share prevention tips to prevent drowsy driving crashes. Winning submissions will receive cash prizes of up to $2,500 and a national broadcast.
The link to this year’s contest and last year’s winning PSAs is: http://www.nrsf.org/contests/stayawakestayalive. The submission deadline is Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at 11:59:59 pm EST.
The Drowsy Driving Prevention team is made up of academic faculty members at Stony Brook University’s School of Health Technology and Management with expertise in sleep diagnostics and therapeutics, respiratory care, education, social work, and public health. Their current projects are targeting the prevention of drowsy and fatigued driving among New York State law enforcement personnel.
For more information about the program or to access the Drowsy Driving Prevention curriculum, visit StopDrowsyDriving.org.
Read the full DMV press release.