Drowsy Drivers Pose Major Risks

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From Your Health Journal…..”As most of my regulars know, I love health related articles from The New York Times, and always try to get traffic to their site. Today’s review is a great article about drowsy drivers pose severe risks. I encourage all of you to visit The Times web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. Most adults will tell you at one time or another, they have gotten tired behind the wheel. I have some friend who have actually ran into some major issues due to this. There have been many times, I have even pulled over to the side of the road to take a quick ‘cat nap’ to recharge myself a little. Now, reports have been coming out about the dangers of drowsy driving. Even being tired and sleep deprived without actually nodding off can be a serious problem on the road. Fatigue slows reaction times and can lead to poor judgment. Studies show that going without sleep for 20 to 21 hours and then getting behind the wheel is comparable to having a blood alcohol level of about .08 percent, which is the legal limit in most states. Please visit The New York Times site to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

A new study of driving behavior across the country found that slightly more than 4 percent of adults admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel.

Certain people were particularly likely to report drowsiness while driving, including those who slept less than six hours daily and those who snored at night, a potential sign of a sleep disorder. Though only 4.2 percent of adults said they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the past 30 days, the researchers said they believed the true number was probably several times that, since people who doze or nod off for a moment at the wheel may not realize it at the time or recall it later on.

Drowsy driving has a widespread impact on the nation’s highways, experts say. In 2009, an estimated 730 deadly motor vehicle accidents involved a driver who was either sleepy or dozing off, and an additional 30,000 crashes that were nonfatal involved a drowsy driver. Accidents involving sleepy drivers are more likely to be deadly or cause injuries, in part because people who fall asleep at the wheel either fail to hit their brakes or veer off the road before crashing.

To get a sense of just how prevalent the phenomenon is, Anne G. Wheaton, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, led a study looking at 147,000 adults in 19 states and the District of Columbia. The subjects were asked detailed questions about their daily activities, including their driving, sleep and work habits. Dr. Wheaton and her colleagues found that men were more likely to report drowsy driving than women, and that the behavior increased with age. About 1.7 percent of adults between 18 and 44 admitted to it, compared to 5 percent or more of those age 65 or older.

To read the full article…..Click here