This is the stuff that
nightmares are made of - about 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have admitted to
trysts with sleep while driving!
a large study carried out between 2009-10 on 147000 individuals from 19 states
by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 24 U.S.
adults revealed that they have had an encounter with sleep while driving,
sometime recently. They have admitted to either nodding off or falling asleep
at least once while driving during the previous month. Some earlier studies too
have reported similar finding.
What is more frightening is that the
officials think the number of sleepy drivers is much higher as many wouldn't
notice if they actually nodded off while driving!!
The CDC reported that drowsiness while driving was commonly
observed in people between the ages of 25 to 34, and especially in those who
slept less than six hours per day on an average. The other interesting fact is
that this phenomenon was commonly observed in men, particularly Texans.
Anne Wheaton of CDC said this observation in the study could be
due to the inclusion of larger number of sleep-deprived adults or overweight
individuals with sleep apnea.
The results of the findings are not surprising as the number of
sleep deprived people is rising steeply! Different studies have revealed that
the frequency of automobile accidents due to drowsy driving is between 3 to 33
Drivers must heed the warning signs of sleepiness when they
experience it. The signs include -
feeling extremely tired,
failing to remember the last mile or two, or
drifting onto one side of the road.
When this happens the drivers must pull off the road and rest
for a while. Every driver should remember that at 60 mph even a single second
means speeding along 88 feet which is almost the length of two school buses.
Therefore even a micro moment of drowsiness could be fatal.
It might be a good idea to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night
especially for those who are frequently behind the wheels. Other factors that
must be considered is avoiding consuming alcohol before driving and seeking
treatment for sleep disorders, if any!
Prevention is not just better than cure - it is