“Driving while drowsy is nodifferent than driving under theinfluence of alcohol or drugs,” saidRichard Gelula, the National SleepFoundation’s executive director.“Sleepiness slows reaction time,decreases awareness and impairsjudgment.”
Each year, at least, 1500 people die in crashes related tosleepy, fatigued or drowsy drivers in the US.Each year, at least, 40,000 people are injured in drowsydriver crashes.62% of surveyed American adults (72% of men and 54%of women) reported driving while feeling drowsy.37% of surveyed American adults (49% of men and 26%of women) said they have dozed off while driving at leastonce.27% of surveyed American adults (36% of men and 20%of women) said they have dozed off while driving at leastonce.12% of surveyed people say sleeplessness affected theirdriving.
The inability to recall the last few miles traveledHaving disconnected or wandering thoughtshaving difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes openDrifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on therumble stripsYawning repeatedlyAccidently tailgating other vehiclesMissing traffic signs
Most crashes arenear misses occurbetween 4:00am to6:00am; midnight –2:00am and 2:00pm– 4:00pm are alsopeak times forcrashes to occur.
Young People – In a North Commercial Drivers – in additionCarolina state study, 55% fatigue- to the high number of milesrelated crashes involved people driven each year, truck drivers25-years-old and younger; 78% also drive during the night. Mostof them were males. people are programmed to sleepShift Workers – studies suggest when it’s dark; experts suggestthat 20 to 30 percent of those that driving be avoided duringwith non-traditional work the “low” period between 2 andschedules have had a sleep- 6 a.m.related driving mishap within thelast year. One study shows thatshift workers are two to fivetimes more likely thanemployees with regular, daytimework hours to fall asleep on thejob.
Turning up the volume of Smoking or chewing tobaccoyour radio Driving over ruble stripsSinging loudly Listening to stimulating orChewing gum or eating food loud musicGetting out of the car and Taking off shoes or looseningrunning around clothingSlapping or pinching yourself Conversing with someoneSticking your head out the Rolling head and/or shoulderswindow or other stationary exerciseRolling down all the windows Driving a stick shiftChanging the temperature in Changing driver’s seatingthe vehicle positionTrying not to stare at division Screamingline Playing games in the car
Coffee overcomes the effects of drowsiness while driving? False Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep. It works only in the short run and wears off fast. You are still subject to sleep deprived “micro-naps” that can last 4-5 seconds. At 55 mph, that is more than 100 yards! I can tell when I’m going to sleep. False Most people think this is true. It simply is not. If you’re drowsy, you know generally when you might fall asleep, but the moment is something completely out of your control. You also do not know how long you have been asleep, and even a few seconds can end up with fatal results for you or someone else. I’m a safe driver so it doesn’t matter if I’m sleepy. False The only safe driver is the alert driver. A driving instructor becomes a menace if they are sleepy behind the wheel. The young man who was awarded “America’s Safest Teen Driver” in 1990 later fell asleep behind the wheel and was killed. I can’t take naps. False Many people say this. If you think you can’t nap, stop the care and recline for 15 minutes anyway. Find a quiet place that is safe…the corner of a mall or a gas station. Lock your doors, and roll up your windows. I
I get plenty of sleep. False Ask yourself this…do you wake up rested? I know precious few people who can answer that yes. The average person needs 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you don’t get it, you are building up a “sleep debt” which is cumulative. Being sleepy make you misperceive things. True Have you ever driven at night and thought you’d seen an animal but it turned out to be something else? A drowsy driver does not process information as fast or accurately as an alert driver and is unable to react quickly enough to avoid a collision. Young people need less sleep. False In fact, teens and young adults need more sleep than people in their 30’s. This is due to increased activity and output wich need more regeneration time.
Plan ahead to reduce your risk Plan trips to avoid drowsy orof getting sleepy or actually fatigued timesfalling asleep behind the Schedule rest breaks on longwheel. journeysGet adequate sleep before Plan on multiple drivers ontaking a long drive. long journeys.Driving during normal waking Avoid large meals before ahours. long drive (a full stomach canAvoid all alcohol before make you drowsy).driving. If drowsy, pull over and stopLimit night-time driving- get some sleep at adriving, especially between rest stop.midnight and 6 a.m.
Sleep Deprivation - A sufficient lack of restorativesleep over a cumulative period so as to causephysical or psychiatric symptoms and affect routineperformances of tasks.Narcolepsy – a sleep disorder that usually appears inyoung adulthood, consisting of recurring episodes ofsleep during the day and often disrupted nocturnalsleep; frequently accompanied by cataplexy, sleepparalysis, and hypnagogic hallucinations; agenetically determined disease.
Sleep Apnea – is a potentially serious sleep disorder inwhich breathing repeatedly stops and starts duringsleep.Insomnia is a disorder that can make it hard to fallasleep, hard to stay asleep, or both.
For more information on sleeping disorders pleasecontact 901-476-2621 to speak to someone in the SleepLab Department.