Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Category: Education

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By: JDAVIDBRAY (106 month(s) ago)


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National Sleep Foundation: 

National Sleep Foundation THE DANGERS OF DROWSY DRIVING©


Overview National Sleep Foundation Drowsy Driving Size of the problem Characteristics of drowsy driving Are you at risk? Effects of fatigue Reducing your risk

What is the National Sleep Foundation?: 

What is the National Sleep Foundation? Mission: The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving public understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting sleep-related public education, research, and advocacy.

Institute of Medicine Report: 

Institute of Medicine Report An Unmet Public Health Problem “The cumulative effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders represent an under-recognized public health problem and have been associated with a wide range of health consequences including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. Almost 20 percent of all serious car crash injuries in the general population are associated with driver sleepiness. Hundreds of billions of dollars a year are spent on direct medical costs related to sleep disorders such as doctor visits, hospital services, prescriptions, and over-the-counter medications.”


DRIVE ALERT…ARRIVE ALIVE National Campaign Goals: Reach at-risk groups Create working partnerships Advocate effective countermeasures Promote research Maintain national clearinghouse of drowsy driving information


Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: 

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week National Campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of driving while sleepy Focus on young drivers and other high-risk groups (e.g., shift workers, commercial drivers and people with untreated sleep disorders)

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: 

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week Re-launch of NSF’s www.drowsydriving.org Drowsy Driving Memorial page Drowsy Driving Online educational toolkit Sobering print public service announcements (PSAs) Extensive resources on drowsy driving facts, public policy, research reports, human interest stories, online communities


How Big is The Problem of Drowsy Driving?

National Crash Statistics: 

National Crash Statistics U.S.D.O.T. estimates: 100,000 police-report crashes annually 1,550 fatalities (4%) 71,000 injuries $12.5 billion in monetary losses Another 1 million crashes are linked to inattention, which increases with fatigue (Knipling, 1995)

Crash Statistics are Conservative : 

Crash Statistics are Conservative Only half of crashes are reported (Miller, 1991) Most police are not trained to detect fatigue There is no objective measurement (e.g., blood test) Self-reporting tends to be inaccurate Drowsiness is often linked to other factors (e.g., alcohol, drugs)

Other Statistics: 

Other Statistics NSF’s 2005 “Sleep in America” Poll found: 60% reported driving drowsy in previous year 37% reported that had dozed off at the wheel at some point in the past 33% drove drowsy at least once a month in the past year 14% drove drowsy at least once a week in the past year 4% have had an accident or near accident in the past year due to falling asleep at the wheel


What are The Characteristics of Drowsy Driving Crashes?

Characteristics of Drowsy Driving Crashes: 

Characteristics of Drowsy Driving Crashes Most happen between midnight – 6:00am & in the midafternoon (circadian dip) The driver is alone and more likely to be male A single vehicle drifts off the road and hits a stationary object Most are rear-end or head-on collisions There is no evidence of braking or evasive maneuvers Many involve serious injuries and/or fatalities (Pack, 1995)


Are You At Risk?

Are You At Risk? : 

Are You At Risk? Before you drive, check to see if you are: Sleep-deprived or fatigued Suffering from insomnia, poor quality sleep, or a sleep debt Driving long distances without proper rest breaks Driving through the night, midafternoon or when you would normally be asleep (Knipling, 1994)

Are You At Risk? (cont.) : 

Are You At Risk? (cont.) Taking sedating medications Working more than 60 hours a week Working more than one job and your main job involves shift work Drinking even small amounts of alcohol Driving alone or on a long, rural, dark or boring road

Special At-Risk Groups Include:: 

Special At-Risk Groups Include: Young people Shift workers Commercial drivers People with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders Business travelers The elderly

2006 Sleep in America Poll on Young Adults: 

2006 Sleep in America Poll on Young Adults 51% of adolescents who drive report that they have driven drowsy in the past year 16% of 11th graders and 20% of 12th graders drive drowsy once a week or more.


The Effects of Sleepiness and Fatigue

Common Sleep Problems: 

Common Sleep Problems Chronic or short-term insomnia (more than 50% of all U.S. adults) Snoring (90 million Americans snore, 37 million habitually) Sleep Apnea (12 - 18 million Americans) Restless Legs Syndrome (2 - 15%) Narcolepsy (1 in every 2,000 Americans)

The Effects of Sleepiness and Fatigue: 

The Effects of Sleepiness and Fatigue Impaired reaction time, judgment and vision Problems with information processing and short-term memory Decreased performance, vigilance and motivation Increased moodiness and aggressive behaviors Increased “microsleeps” – brief (2/3 seconds) sleep episodes

Fatigue vs. Alcohol: 

Fatigue vs. Alcohol 17 hours sustained wakefulness produces performance impairment = 0.05% BAC 24 hours = 0.10% BAC (Dawson & Reid, 1997; Williamson & Feyer, 2000). People with mild to moderate untreated sleep apnea performed worse than those with a 0.06% BAC (Powell, 1999) On 4 hours sleep, 1 beer can have the impact of a six-pack (Roehrs et al., 1994)


How To Reduce Your Risk

Recognize The Warning Signs of Fatigue: 

Recognize The Warning Signs of Fatigue Trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or your head up Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly Drifting from your lane, tailgating, & missing signs or exits Feeling restless & irritable

Before A Trip : 

Before A Trip Get a good night’s sleep, preferably 8 hrs Schedule breaks every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips Travel with a companion to help watch for the signs of fatigue Avoid alcohol and sedating medications

Before A Trip : 

Before A Trip Take a nap or drink caffeine before leaving work if tired Consult your physician or local sleep disorders center if you are experiencing frequent daytime sleepiness or having difficulty sleeping at night

Countermeasures While Driving: 

Countermeasures While Driving DO NOT rely on rolling down the window or turning up the radio – THEY DON’T WORK Stop driving Pull off the road at a safe place and take a short nap Let a passenger take over the driving Consume caffeine (2 cups of coffee) Don’t rely on “drowsy driving devices” Be aware of shoulder rumble strips


Summary Drowsy driving is a major problem Fatigue is an impairment like alcohol or drugs Anyone can be at risk There are simple ways to combat drowsy driving Practice good sleep habits and remember to Drive Alert…Arrive Alive

For More Information Contact:: 

For More Information Contact: National Sleep Foundation 1522 K Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20009 (202) 347-3471 or visit www.sleepfoundation.org www.drowsydriving.org

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