The time that we spend sleeping, when we get the proper amount, is critical and productive. The amount of sleep we get on a regular basis plays a direct role in how energetic and effective we are in our waking hours. We are sharing some statistics to OPEN YOUR EYES! Please visit the LINKS page for more details.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 56,000 crashes annually in which police cite driver drowsiness or fatigue. In these crashes, there are approximately 40,000 nonfatal injuries and 1,550 fatalities.
Federal data suggest that 15% to 33% of fatal automobile crashes are caused by drowsy drivers!
POPULATIONS AT RISK:
Drowsy driving can happen to any driver. But some people may be particularly vulnerable. Groups at risk include students and young drivers; shift workers; frequent travelers; truck drivers; and persons suffering from acute stress, depression, undiagnosed sleep apnea, or chronic pain.
Young people, especially males under 25 years old, are 3 to 4 times more likely to be in a sleep-related driving accident.
Drivers younger than 30 account for almost 66% of drowsy-driving crashes, despite representing only about 25% of licensed drivers.
Older adults may wake up more often during the night and therefore may actually get less sleep in the nighttime hours, but they still need the same amount of sleep as younger adults. Planning one or more naps during a daily routine will help them to effectively manage sleep and remain alert when driving or doing other tasks requiring focus.
Drivers who begin a trip with less than 6 hours of sleep TRIPLE their chances of a sleep-related crash.
Those who sleep less than 6 hours per night on average are the most likely to experience drowsy driving, even when they feel completely rested.
Rotating shift and night workers are 6 TIMES more likely to be in a drowsy-driving accident.
In one study, the risk for a drowsy-driving episode DOUBLED when nurses worked 12.5 or more consecutive hours.
Approximately 80% of the nurses who worked only night shifts reported at least one episode of drowsy driving during the same study.
Drivers with untreated sleep apnea are at 7 TIMES greater risk of involvement in a drowsy-driving accident.
Drivers who work more than 60 hours a week increase their risk of drowsy driving by 40%.
If your speed is 62 miles per hour and you fall asleep for just a few seconds while you are driving, you can travel up to the length of a football field in about 5 seconds without control over your vehicle.
A University of Pennsylvania study found that people who got 6 hours of sleep a night for 2 weeks had lost the same amount of focus, alertness, and working memory as people who had been awake for 36 hours.
Alcohol also increases the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. The WORST POSSIBLE MIX is drowsiness plus alcohol or another sedative.
When you’re very tired, one drink can feel like four or five.
An average adult who has been awake for 18 hours has the same level of mental and physical impairment as a person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. Someone who has been awake for 24 hours has the same level of impairment as a person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%. This is higher than the legal limit most states use for Driving While Intoxicated, usually 0.8%.
Sleep contributes to a healthy immune system and can also balance our appetite by helping to regulate levels of the hormones that cause us to feel hungry or full. If we’re sleep deprived, we may feel the need to eat more and gain weight as a result.
Some people use physical activity and dietary stimulants to deal with sleep loss, thus masking their level of sleepiness. However, when they sit still, perform repetitive tasks (such as driving long distances), get bored, or relax, they can fall asleep quickly.
Although an effective alerting device may prevent one crash, a driver who falls asleep once is likely to fall asleep again unless he or she stops driving.
Taking a break for a short nap (about 15 to 20 minutes) has been shown to improve subsequent performance, even among sleep-deprived people.
Lifestyle changes that make sleep a priority and allow you to get enough rest on a regular basis can reduce or reverse the many problems associated with sleep deprivation. Start tonight!