(PHOENIX, AZ,) – In an effort to save lives and reduce crashes, the National Sleep Foundation has declared November 1-8 to be Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Studies show that sleepiness can impair driving as much or even more than alcohol.
“There is no substitute for quality sleep,” says Valley Sleep Center President Lauri Leadley. “Caffeine may improve alertness for a short amount of time but should never be used to make up for lack of sleep. And, there is no concrete evidence that rolling down car windows, turning up the radio or getting out to stretch helps sleep-deprived drivers.”
Are you a drowsy driver? Common signs include:
- Yawning, rubbing your eyes, frequent blinking
- Having trouble keeping your eyes open or your head up
- Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
- Drifting from your lane or off the road
- Slower reaction time
Drowsy Driving Prevention Tips
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Plan long trips with a companion
- Schedule regular stops
- Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you tired
- If you feel tired, pull over and take a 15-20 minute nap
Consider these statistics:
- 36 percent of Americans have fallen asleep while driving, according to the 2008 Sleep in America Poll.
- 60 percent of Americans said they’ve driven while feeling drowsy, according to the 2005 sleep in American Poll.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 2.5 percent of deadly crashes and 2 percent of injury crashes involve drowsy driving. * This is thought to be an underestimation.
- Cognitive impairment after being awake about 18 hours is similar to someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent.
- Cognitive impairment after 24 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, higher than the legal limit.
About Valley Sleep Center
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. www.valleysleepcenter.com