Who is affected by Drowsy Driving?
Is Drowsy Driving affecting your ability to drive safely and remain independent? NYU Winthrop’s Center for Sleep Medicine on Long island, NY specializes in diagnosing and helping those with common sleep disorders. Drowsy driving is a common sleep disorder within the United States. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that as many as 54% of Americans are sleepy while at the wheel. Often, once a sleep disorder is diagnosed and treated and the patient is educated, alertness at the wheel improves significantly.
A Correlation Between Snoring and Drowsy Driving
According to a study performed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there may be a correlation between snoring and drowsy driving. According to the CDC several factors affect the percentage of people who fall asleep at the wheel. A major factor is, of course, the number of hours slept at night. Only 2% of non-snorers who slept 7-9 hours per night were reported as having fallen asleep at the wheel in the 30 day study period. That number increased to 5.2% for those who averaged 6 hours of sleep per night or less. Perhaps even more shocking are the effects of snoring. The numbers of 7-9 hour sleepers who snore and fell asleep at the wheel were 3.4%. A shocking 8.5% of snorers who slept 6 hours or less fell asleep at the wheel within the 30 day period.
Prevent Drowsy Driving
Believe it or not you can play a major role in preventing drowsy driving. Be sure to sleep 7-8 hours per night. Seek medical treatment if you have a sleep disorder that prevents you from sleeping the recommended number of hours. If you snore, be sure to have it checked by a sleep specialist. Don't take any medication that causes drowsiness before getting behind the wheel of a car. If you get tired while driving, pull over to change drivers or rest. Loud music or a rolled down window are not effective ways to resolve drowsy driving.