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CSR for Parasport

Driving Alert: Preventing Microsleep Behind the Wheel

As summer unfolds, so does a crucial project in Slovakia focused on preventing microsleep while driving. This initiative gains momentum during this season, particularly due to the long journeys people embark on for vacations abroad, where drivers are most susceptible to overestimating their abilities behind the wheel. Spearheaded by the Slovak Paralympic Committee (SPV) in collaboration with its principal partner, Allianz, this project aims to raise awareness and curb the dangers associated with microsleep.

Microsleep stands as one of the foremost adversaries of drivers, often leading to severe traffic accidents. Lasting mere fractions of a second or up to half a minute, microsleep episodes occur even with open eyes, during which individuals are oblivious to external stimuli. For drivers, this lapse in consciousness can result in a loss of control over the vehicle, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Colonel Tomáš Vrábel, Director of the Traffic Police Department, emphasizes the gravity of microsleep-related accidents, underlining the need for drivers to refrain from operating a vehicle when fatigued or otherwise impaired. He stresses the human cost of such tragedies, urging individuals to prioritize road safety over haste or negligence.

Drawing from their frontline experiences, rescue workers echo the importance of effective prevention strategies. Peter Skržek from AP Rescue underscores the significance of adequate rest before driving and the necessity of regular breaks and hydration during journeys. Even simple measures like chewing gum or taking brief naps can help mitigate the risk of microsleep-induced accidents.

Ján Riapoš, Chairman of the SPV, shares a deeply personal perspective, having been a victim of a microsleep-related accident himself. His story serves as a poignant reminder of the life-altering consequences of fatigue behind the wheel. Riapoš advocates for a shift in priorities, emphasizing the intrinsic value of human life over professional commitments.

Traffic expert Alex Štefuca delves into the mechanics of microsleep and its implications for road safety. He stresses the critical need for drivers to recognize the warning signs of fatigue and prioritize rest over the pressing demands of travel.

Lucia Strnad Muthová, administrator of the Allianz Foundation, highlights the collaborative efforts between Allianz and the SPV in driving this preventive campaign. By leveraging the credibility and personal narratives of para-athletes, the initiative seeks to resonate with audiences and effect meaningful behavioral change.

In conclusion, the fight against microsleep requires collective vigilance and a commitment to prioritizing safety on the roads. By heeding the lessons shared by experts and survivors alike, drivers can take proactive steps to mitigate the risks associated with fatigue behind the wheel. Let us remember that a moment’s lapse in attention can have far-reaching consequences, underscoring the need for unwavering diligence and responsibility while driving.

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