carolina.gif (1377 bytes)

NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279
 www.unc.edu/news/

 ADVISORY

Not for publication

Dec. 14, 1999 -- No. 747

News conference on drowsy driving

10 a.m. Dec 21 National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20045

Investigators from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center will announce interesting results of a new study on the hazards of drowsy driving at a news conference at 10 a.m. on Dec. 21 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

More than 1,400 N.C. drivers were interviewed for the 18-month study, including 467 involved in recent crashes caused by falling asleep at the wheel or being fatigued and 529 recently involved in crashes that were not fatigue- or sleep-related.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study where a large number of drivers in sleep-related crashes and drivers in non-sleep-related crashes were contacted soon after the occurrence of their crash," said Dr. Jane Stutts, the principal investigator.

Appearing with Stutts at the event will be two drivers who were involved in crashes after falling asleep at the wheel. Other presenters include David Willis, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which funded the study, and William Carter of the Virginia State Police, who will speak about drowsy driving and law enforcement.

B-roll film and graphics will be available.

For more information about the news conference or the study, call Emily Smith at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center at (919) 962-7803 or Stephanie Faul at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, (202) 638-5944, ext.4. The National Press Club number is (202) 662-7500.

- 30 -

Contact: David Williamson, (919) 962-8596.