Articles Tagged with drowsy driving

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Motorists driving while fatigued or sleepy cause as many as 100,000 car accidents every year.  This  November, the National Sleep Foundation is marking Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to raise  awareness about the dangers of driving while sleepy.

The National Sleep Foundation commemorates the first week of November every year as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week to coincide with the end of daylight savings time.  The  National Sleep Foundation estimates that as many as 100,000 car accidents every year are caused by drivers who are too sleepy or fatigued to drive. According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of all American motorists admit to regularly or consistently driving while sleepy.  About 20% of American drivers admit to having operated a motor vehicle while sleepy at least once in the past year. Clearly, there are far too many people who feel comfortable driving a car when they are simply too tired or sleepy to do so.

Some categories of motorists may be at a greater risk of drowsy driving than others.  For example, motorists between the age of 16 and 25 are at a higher risk of driving while sleepy.  Male  motorists may also be much more likely to find nothing wrong while driving in a sleepy condition compared   to female drivers.  Shift  workers and commercial drivers like long haul   truck drivers may also be at higher risk of not getting enough sleep resulting in drowsy driving. Apart  from these business travelers as well as persons suffering   from medical conditions like sleep apnea are also at a higher risk.  Apnea is a sleep  condition that causes a person to suffer from respiratory interruptions  during sleep at night which causes the person to be fatigued and sleepy   in the daytime. Sometimes, drowsy driving  is the result of  taking medications like anti -depressants and antihistamines that may have sleepiness as a side effect.

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Daylight Savings Time kicks in across Georgia on March 8th.  And while many people look forward to the longer daylight hours, the change in time also means disrupted sleep schedules as people lose that one hour of sleep.  This in turn means many people are getting behind a wheel and driving to work or elsewhere while drowsy.  Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a cause of many accidents across the metro Atlanta region every year

Starting March 8 and through the month of November, clocks in Georgia will be set forward by an hour. That means losing an hour of sleep in your schedule. Many Georgians are already sleeping less than the recommended 8 hours per night, and losing one more hour due to spring time change only increases the risk of drowsiness while driving to work. This spring, take steps to avoid driving while drowsy.

First, get to bed an hour earlier to make up for the loss of sleep.  Avoid staying up late at night with social media on your phone, computer, or other electronics.  Always being on social media can be a cause for loss of sleep, and while it may be tempting to check your phone for one more Instagram update or Tweet one last time before sleeping, keep in mind that it can be dangerous for your state of mind and your driving skills the next day.  Plus, the blue light exposure from electronics right before you go to bed will only prolong you being able to fall asleep.

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Daylight savings has been in effect for about 6 weeks in Georgia, which is enough time for most people to make the adjustment to longer days.  However, did you know that your car accident risks increase as soon as Daylight Savings Time comes into effect? When your days become longer, your risks behind the wheel increase.

According to one study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a single hour of lost sleep can significantly increase your risk of being involved in an accident.

What can you do to help reduce the risk of an accident now that longer days are here?

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A large body of evidence supports the fact that your accident risks increase when you are driving in a fatigued condition. But just how sleepy do you have to be to be involved in an accident? According to a new study, your accident risk doubles if you have lost just a single hour of sleep.

A staggering new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores the dangers of drowsy driving. According to the study, missing just an hour or two of sleep doubles your chances of being involved in a car accident the next day. If you drive after getting just 4 to 5 hours of sleep, your accident risk increases by four times. In fact, at that level, you are driving in a state that is comparable to that of a person with a blood-alcohol concentration between .12 and .15. That is higher than the .08 drunk driving limit in place in most states.

There are many studies on driving while tired, but this is the first one that aims to quantify the dangers.

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