More than 500 people died on Wisconsin roads last year.

“Some deaths were caused by speeding while others were a result of drunk driving, or not wearing a seat belt. Tragically, these deaths affect many lives and cause great pain to thousands of people throughout the state. Fortunately, you can help change that number.”  So says the State of Wisconsin’s very well-intentioned web site.

But, in a very clear error, either of omission or of understanding, the State runs a television spot frequently about not wearing one’s seat belt.  Again, a very noble thought.  However, as you will be able to see from the advertisement that is called “Reality – Seat Belt,” they have missed a truly significant, even life saving point.  Take a look at it and see if you can figure out what it is …

The driver in the spot is not only not wearing a seat belt … he is asleep at the wheel.  He is, as too many people fail to realize, one of those ticking time bombs waiting to go off on our roads … the drowsy driver.

Taking a look at his thick neck and overweight body frame, it is likely that this driver has obstructive sleep apnea, which is just as likely to take his life … and the lives of others on the road … as not wearing his seatbelt or driving drunk.

One can only hope that the State of Wisconsin … and ALL states … will get the idea soon that drowsy drivers are a MAJOR threat to the health and lives of all people on the roads.

Steve Gardner

The Sleep Wellness Institute