Western Kentucky University

Media Relations

1 in 24 report driving while drowsy

Most of us are familiar with the dangers of drunken driving, but drowsy driving can be just as deadly. Studies estimate 15% to 33% of fatal crashes involve tired drivers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Being sleep-deprived slows our reaction time, said Dr. Michael Howell, a sleep expert with the University of Minnesota. That can mean hitting something we might otherwise avoid, like a child on a bicycle who suddenly veers off the sidewalk.

We're also more impulsive when we're tired, Howell said. It's like our brains revert to being teenagers. "We respond to things without thinking them through," he says. "... Road rage happens because people are sleep deprived."

The CDC report analyzed data from a 2009-2010 national behavioral telephone survey of more than 147,000 respondents. Approximately 4.2% of those surveyed reported having fallen asleep while driving at least once during the last month. That’s one out of every 24 people.

That sounds like a small number, but the problem may be more prevalent over a longer period. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that 60% of drivers had driven while sleepy in the preceding year. In a 2010 national telephone survey, more than 40% of people admitted to having “fallen asleep or nodded off” while driving at some point in their lives, according to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Men were more likely than women to report falling asleep at the wheel, according to the new CDC report. Howell said men are more likely than women to have sleep disorders, especially sleep apnea. They're also less likely to regularly get enough sleep.

"We live in a sleep-deprived culture," he said. "There’s a reason why there’s a coffee shop on every corner. We don’t sleep as much as we should."

 

Source

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
CEBS
Media Relations
Academic Affairs
Augenstein Alumni Center
Instruments of American Excellence
Transportation
Emergency Preparedness
Police
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Library News
Office of Sustainability
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Ogden News
PCAL
WKU Greeks News
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Parent's Association
Student Activities and Organizations
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Government Association News
Van Meter Auditorium
Teaching News
Study Abroad
Student Research Council
Student Employment
WKU Joint Admissions
International Student Office
Human Resources News
Cultural Enhancement Series
CHHS News
The Confucius Institute
Campus Activities Board
GFCB
WellU
The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Student Union
Health Services
Hardin Planetarium
News from The Center for Gifted Studies
Student Financial Assistance
Downing Museum
Etown & Fort Knox
Facilities
Employee Wellness
Latest Headlines
NDEO Fundraisers for Fall 2014

A summary of WKU National Dance Education Organization Student Chapter Fundraising events for fall 2014.

Freshman Cabaret Sponsored by Alpha Psi Omega

Details about the Alpha Psi Omega Freshman Cabaret at WKU.

WKU faculty member receives grant to support research in East Africa
Featured Articles
 Last Modified 7/23/13