Are you a Drowsy Driver?
Dangers of sleep deprivation include major risk of traffic accidents
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, are one of the most dangerous threats out on our roads.
- Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates the cost of drowsy driving is $12.4 billion per year.
- Drivers suffering from untreated sleep apnea are at 6 times the risk for motor vehicle accidents.
- Situational Performance (SA) of the untreated sleep apneic is similar to that of a person with a .06 – .08 Blood Alcohol Content level.
- Over 28% of truck drivers have sleep apnea.
- 71% of a trucking company’s injury/fatal crash costs are attributed to drivers with untreated sleep apnea.
In spite of increasing gasoline prices, Americans are still taking to the road. Drowsy driving poses a significant danger to travelers, and one should pay attention to the following factors.
Waking Up Refreshed
Linked to Chronic Disease
Affecting the Immune System
6 Risk Factors for Drowsy Driving
- Driving tired
- Driving long distances without rest
- Driving at night
- Alcohol consumption or medication use
- Driving alone
- Driving on long, monotonous roads
4 At-risk Groups for Drowsy Driving
- Teenage drivers
- Shift workers
- Professional drivers / Truck drivers
- People with untreated / undiagnosed sleep disorder
8 Danger Signs of Drowsy Driving
- Eyes close or vision goes out of focus.
- Difficulty keeping head up; head is drooping.
- Constant yawning
- The mind wanders away from the driving.
- Driver does not remember driving the last few miles.
- Inadvertently switching lanes – driving on the rumble strips.
- Constantly pulling the car back into the lane.
- Car goes out of the lane and almost off the road completely.
7 Preventive Measures Against Drowsy Driving
- Get plenty of sleep before driving.
- Avoid driving against the body clock.
- Talk with the passengers.
- The front seat passenger should also stay awake.
- Take a break from driving every 2 hours or so (100-150 miles).
- Drink a caffeinated beverage (short term improvement).
- Alcohol and driving NEVER go together. Never drink and drive!