Driving and Sleep Deprivation

Driving and Sleep Deprivation

Everyone in Tyler, Texas and throughout the United States has learned from an early age about the dangers of drunk driving. You watched the afterschool specials, sat in the auditorium to hear the motivational speakers and even saw countless PSAs explaining how a split second decision to get behind the wheel can have disastrous consequences. But did you know there is something almost as dangerous that is very rarely talked about? Sleep deprivation.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 poll, 60 percent of all adult drivers say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy within the past year-that’s about 168 million Americans. Of those people, 37 percent have fallen asleep at the wheel and 4 percent have had an accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.

In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 100,000 reported crashes per year are the direct result of driver fatigue. This leads to 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and almost $12.5 billion in monetary losses.

These numbers are staggering. But unlike drunk driving, it is much harder to crack down on driving while tried. This is because

  • There is no test to determine your level of sleepiness, like there is for intoxication.
  • There are inconsistent state reporting practices and training to identify drowsiness.
  • Drowsiness often plays a role in crashes attributed to other causes, such as alcohol.

Adults aged 18 to 29 are the most likely to drive while drowsy and men are far more likely to do this than women.

The amount and quality of your sleep has a direct result on your level of drowsiness. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash than those who sleep eight hours or more.

There are any number of issues that can cause someone in Tyler, Texas to have a restless night’s sleep; the most common are sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea) or snoring. If you are tired of suffering from daytime sleepiness it is time you did something about it. Contact the best ENT in Tyler, Texas to schedule an appointment.