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.