Navigation Links
Sleepy Drivers a Menace on the Road

Close to 2 million crashes, close calls linked to drowsy motorists, survey suggests

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- One percent of U.S. drivers -- 1.9 million people -- have had accidents or near-misses over the past year because they were driving while sleepy, a new survey finds.

Also, more than half of drivers surveyed admitted that they've driven over the last year while feeling drowsy, and 28 percent said they drive while sleepy at least once a month, according to the survey sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation.

"People underestimate how tired they are and think that they can stay awake by sheer force of will," Thomas Balkin, chairman of the National Sleep Foundation, said in a news release about the 2009 Sleep in America poll. "This is a risky misconception. Would there be 1.9 million fatigue-related crashes or near misses if people were good at assessing their own ability to drive when fatigued?" he asked.

"The problem is that although we are pretty good at recognizing when we feel sleepy, we do not recognize the process of actually falling asleep as it is happening," Balkin said. "The process robs us of both self-awareness and awareness of our environment. All it takes is a moment of reduced awareness to cause a crash."

Research has suggested that not sleeping for more than 20 hours can make people as impaired as if they were drunk. Sleepiness slows reaction times, makes people less aware and impairs their judgment, researchers say.

What do the experts suggest? The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you watch out for these warning signs:

  • Difficulty focusing, heavy eyelids and difficulty avoiding daydreams
  • Nodding, forgetting the last few miles you've driven, and repeated yawning
  • Restlessness and irritability

If you do feel sleepy on the road, turn the wheel over to a buddy and take a nap.

Caffeinated beverages or caffeinated gum can keep you more alert for a few hours. You could even drink a caffeinated beverage and take a quick nap -- 20 to 30 minutes -- before it kicks in.

But remember, caffeine is no replacement for sleep. You'll still need to get some shuteye.

More information

Learn more about sleep from the National Sleep Foundation.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: National Sleep Foundation, news release, Nov. 2, 2009

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Sleepy Drivers Are Dangerous Drivers
2. Sleepy Driving Prevalent Among Collegians
3. 1.9 Million Drivers Have Fatigue-Related Car Crashes or Near Misses Each Year
4. Drunk Drivers Scarier Than Ghosts and Goblins This Halloween
5. Firm Parents Keep Teen Drivers Safe
6. Rate Regulation for Health Insurance: Biden, Obama Administration Should Look to CAs Model Law Which Has Saved Drivers $62 Billion Since 1988
7. Rural roads dangerous for young drivers
8. Frost & Sullivan: Key Therapeutic Areas to Remain Strongest Drivers of CRO Revenue Growth in the United States
9. Brain Training Keeps Older Drivers Safe Behind the Wheel
10. Mandatory alcohol testing for truck and bus drivers reduces alcohol involvement in fatal crashes
11. Back to School Brings Risks to Young Drivers; Traffic Crashes Leading Cause of Teen Death, Says National Road Safety Foundation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... Boulder, Colorado (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 ... ... launched the first high-tech foam roller with 11 hours of vibrating power. Tested ... to reduce recovery time and increase athletic performance. , Mark's background in sporting ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... The American Institutes ... college campus health staff caring for students who have experienced sexual assault and other ... the White House during the Violence Against Women Act's 21st anniversary. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... M.A. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... Sir ... service to the local Boston chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). This ... that has supported Sir Grout of Greater Boston since its inception. , “We believe ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... ... "My friend's son suffers from eczema, and he had a horrible habit ... Platteville, Colo. "I came up with this kit as a way to prevent children ... child from rubbing or scratching his or her face. This protects sensitive skin from ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... anesthesia and pain management services, today announced its partnership with WPC Healthcare ... data from disparate systems and organizes the data into an aggregated data repository ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015 Attracting mid- to large-sized medical ... to growing Baltimore into a major ... by the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) . ... pieces in place to support innovation hubs and a thriving ... Mtech Baltimore. "This study is important because we believe ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Graduate students ... care and medical research, will soon have the ... patient care – the drug discovery and development ... ) has collaborated with 10 leaders from academic ... "Making Medicines: The Process of Drug Development."  Lilly ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , October 13, 2015 ... expected to reach USD 26.8 billion by 2022, according ... Anesthesia and respiratory devices, owing to their capability to ... expected to witness a substantial growth. --> ... reach USD 26.8 billion by 2022, according to a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: