November 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

WAKE UP TO THE FACTS ON FATIGUED DRIVING

 

·         According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an estimated 17% of fatal vehicle crashes are linked to drowsy driving. . However, unlike drugs and alcohol, there is no physical test to determine sleepiness as a potential cause of a crash, therefore, the frequency of drowsy driving crashes is most likely much higher.

·         Our internal body clock tells us when we need to eat and sleep and when we have the most energy. Our body clocks run on a daily rhythm of 24 hours and there are periods of the day when we are likely to feel sleepy—mid-afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and early morning between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

 

·         Compared to drivers averaging 8 hours of sleep or more, drivers who sleep less than 5 hours per night on average are 6 times more likely to be involved in a fatigue-related crash.

·         In a recent national survey, 30% of employed U.S. adults (approximately 40.6 million workers) reported an average sleep duration of ≤6 hours per day. Particularly at risk of not getting enough sleep are those that work more than 40 hours per week and shift workers.

·         In a 2011 survey, nearly one-third of drivers admitted to driving in the past month when they were so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open.

 

·         If you have been awake for more than 20 hours, you could be just as impaired as if you had a blood alcohol content of .08— the legal threshold of DUI across the U.S.  This is especially relevant for shift workers or international travelers who have been awake for extended periods.

·         A micro-sleep is an episode of sleep which may last for a fraction of a second or up to thirty seconds. If you are sleep-deprived, you can fall into a micro-sleep at any time, typically without warning.

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