Navigation Links
Many Americans Drive While Drowsy: Report
Date:1/3/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Driving drowsy is a major factor in traffic accidents and deaths in the United States, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Federal statistics state that 2.5 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes and 2 percent of crashes with non-fatal injuries involve drowsy driving.

But, data gathering methods make it difficult to estimate the actual number of accidents that involve drowsy drivers. In fact, some studies have estimated that between 15 percent and 33 percent of fatal crashes may involve sleepy drivers. And deaths and injuries are more likely in motor vehicle crashes that involve drowsy driving, the report stated.

According to the report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4 percent of drivers quizzed said they had driven while drowsy in the month before the survey.

"One out of 25 people reported falling asleep while driving in the past month," said CDC epidemiologist Anne Wheaton, the report's lead author. "If you think of how many cars you see every day, one out of 25 -- that's a pretty big number."

And those numbers may underestimate the scope of the problem, Wheaton said.

"These were people who realized they had fallen asleep while they were driving," she said. "If you fall asleep for even a moment you may not realize it -- so that's not even taking those people into account."

What's more, many people drive drowsy and don't fall asleep, but still pose a risk, Wheaton said.

"Driving while drowsy you are driving impaired. Your reaction time slows down, you're less attentive and it impairs your decision-making skills," she said. "So even if you don't fall asleep at the wheel, it's still a serious problem."

The report was published in the Jan. 4 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In the study, researchers found that people who slept six hours or less were about twice as likely to report falling asleep while driving as those who got seven or more hours of sleep.

Other contributing factors include sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia, Wheaton said.

In 2009, approximately 30,000 people were involved in car crashes due to drowsy driving and 730 died, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Drowsy driving also varied state-to-state, from a low of 2.5 percent in Oregon to a high of 6.1 percent in Texas, the report found.

The findings were based on a survey of almost 150,000 drivers.

The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to get at least seven hours of sleep. And people with a sleep disorder should seek treatment, the CDC said.

The agency also recommends not drinking alcohol or taking sedatives before sliding into the driver's seat.

Wheaton said some of the signs of drowsy driving include: not remembering the last couple of miles driven; missing an exit on a highway; having trouble staying in a driving lane; and struggling to keep your eyes open.

"If you have these symptoms you need to get off the road and rest until you're not sleepy anymore," she said. "Even better is to change drivers with someone who is not sleepy."

Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said: "Drowsy driving is a lot like distracted driving -- it's not something you can outlaw and solve the problem. Technology may help. High-tech, crash-avoidance systems can alert drivers to hazards or even take action autonomously if your attention wanders or you're sleepy and may prevent a lot of crashes in the future. These systems are always on alert and never get tired like people do."

More information

For more on driving while drowsy visit the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

SOURCES: Anne Wheaton, Ph.D., epidemiologist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Russ Rader, spokesman, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, Va.; Jan. 4, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. HIV Infections Continue to Hit Young Americans Hard
2. Supplement Use Widespread Among Americans
3. More Americans Buckling Up Than Ever Before: Report
4. Many Americans Still in the Dark About Antibiotic Resistance
5. Hispanics More Heart-Healthy Than Other Americans: Study
6. Partisanship Guides Americans Attitudes on Health-Care Reform Law: Poll
7. Suicide Now Kills More Americans Than Car Crashes: Study
8. Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans
9. More Americans Get Effective HIV Treatment, Study Says
10. Millions of Americans Have Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure: CDC
11. Genetic link to prostate cancer risk in African Americans found
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/28/2017)... , ... June 28, 2017 , ... American Farmer proudly ... episode of the award winning television series, scheduled to broadcast fourth quarter 2017. American ... originated as a regional supplier of garden pea seed. As demand grew, the small ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Designers ... to communities in northern Virginia and DC, is announcing a cooperative charity event ... with Alzheimer’s and other disorders that lead to memory impairment. , The Insight ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... ... Harbour , a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) that harnesses the wisdom ... technical specifications . , 2017 has seen an explosion of token launches by ... offerings will garner the greatest ROI. Dean Eigenmann, Co-founder and CEO of Harbour, said, ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A January 18th article on medGadget reports that ... by the year 2024 according to a new report. The article also notes that ... titanium. Los Angeles area clinic Beverly Hills Periodontics & Dental Implant Center says that ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... London, CT (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2017 ... ... the Alice P. Fabrykiewicz Scholarship Foundation Fundraiser hygiene symposium in Mystic, CT. Covering ... Toback and Urbanski offered their experience in these popular periodontal procedures. Drs. Toback ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/12/2017)... Kineta, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the ... President of R&D and Head of Virology Kristin Bedard has ... the Northwest and Beyond meeting sponsored by Life Science ... from 8:30-10:30 AM PDT at the Agora Conference Center in ... Bedard will be joined by other leaders in infectious disease ...
(Date:6/9/2017)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June ... are living with diabetes. In a further effort to ... people affected by this condition, the International Diabetes Federation ... LLY ) have come together for the second phase ... and Systems programme (BRIDGES 2), reaffirming their commitment to ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... DUBLIN , June 7, 2017 Endo ... on June 7, 2017, the Hon. Joseph R. ... District of West Virginia , entered ... Systems, Inc. Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (the ... filed MDL cases to provide expert disclosures on specific ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: