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Keefe Newsletter

Drowsy Driving

March 2017


There is a focus these days on distracted driving and the increase in traffic accidents caused by cell phone use and other in-vehcle devices.

But there is another disturbing trend and that is the rise in drowsy driving that can be as lethal as any DUI. In 2014, 21% of fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver, up from 16.5% in 2010. According to a National Sleep Foundation 2005 study, 60% of adult drivers admitted to drowsy driving at some point.

Drowsiness a Major Crash Cause

Drowsy driving is no laughing matter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be just the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to connect crashes to sleepiness. There is no test like a "Breathalyzer" for intoxication.

Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous. But being sleepy affects our ability to drive safely even if we don't fall asleep. Drowsiness causes us to lose our attention to the road, slows our reaction time to brake or steer suddenly, and affects our ability to make good decisions.

Warning Signs & Common Sense Prevention

Here are a few telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Yawning, blinking or nodding frequently
  • Trouble recalling the past few miles driven
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road

If you notice the warning signs of drowsy driving, there are two common sense rules recommended by the safety experts - pull over to a safe place and take a 15-20 minute nap or change drivers. They point out that turning up the radio, having a cup of coffee, opening car windows (all of which many of us do) are not the solutions for safe driving when we are drowsy. For more information, visit


We want to do everything we can to help you keep yourself and your family safe.

Please alert your family's drivers of the dangers of both drowsy and distracted driving. Even with the new technological safety features built into new cars, nothing can replace conscientious, attentive driving. While these safety features are very helpful, please don't gamble your safety by depending on them too much. There is always "the other guy" to watch out for!

We are always available during business hours to answer your questions or address your concerns. Stop by or call us at 508-528-3310 or toll-free at 888-528-3310. There is also additional information available 24/7 on our web site for your convenience.



Bob Keras & Peter Brunelli
Keefe Insurance Agency

Home . Auto . Business . Life

Did You Know?

How do I replace a lost or stolen Massachusetts drivers license?

You can do it online for $25 at the Registry's website ( BUT, you may be able to RENEW your license at the same time if you are within one year of your expiration date. This would save you the extra $25 replacement fee!

Do I need any special insurance to drive for Uber or Lyft?

We suggest you talk with us before you commit to a rideshare arrangement. If you decide to become a ride-sharer, there are serious auto insurance coverage questions that we recommend you review with us.

How much coverage do I need for uninsured motorists?

If you only have the minimum Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage now, we encourage you to call us and consider increasing both at a very modest cost. According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), 1 out of 8 drivers in the country do not have automobile insurance. An accident with an insured driver who is UNDER-insured could present a serious financial difficulty, too.

What are the penalties for cell phone use while driving?

For first offense: $100. Second offense: $250 and then $500. Drivers under 18 are strictly prohibited from using cell phones or other mobile electronic devices while driving. They face the above fines, PLUS graduated license suspension.

If you have a young driver with a learner's permit, call us to find out what the financial impact will be on your rates once he or she gets their license. Due to the increase in accidents among young drivers caused by distracted driving, rates are rising substantially. It pays to be aware in advance.