The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office received a grant from GHSA and The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. to combat the issue of drowsy driving on the state’s roads.
Maryland focused its grant efforts on a creating a drowsy driving prevention campaign for healthcare providers, a group particularly at-risk for fatigued driving due to working long, irregular hours. The Highway Safety Office partnered with the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) to develop a “Drowsy Driving Awareness and Prevention Campaign” kit including a website with online trainings for EMS; exhibit materials; communications materials including social media messages, newsletter articles, a press release, and PSAs; and informational handouts. Messaging sought to raise awareness of the risks of drowsy driving, inform healthcare workers of warning signs for being too tired to drive safely, and offer tips for avoiding drowsiness.
A total of 25 agencies participated in the campaign, hosting events for their staff, displaying campaign messages throughout hospitals, and adapting communications materials for internal messaging. In addition, MIEMSS exhibited and arranged a series of talks at a number of events attended by EMS staff, including a state trauma center, the Annual EMS Medical Director’s Symposium, and the Maryland Emergency Nursing Association meeting.
Overall, the Drowsy Driving Awareness and Prevention Campaign was well-received by agencies, the vast majority of which reported themselves likely to continue using the campaign as a way to mitigate drowsy driving by their staff.