AAA Survey Finds Widespread Drowsy Driving

Monday, November 11, 2013

Drowsy driving, or driving while fatigued, isn't as uncommon as you might hope. According to a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, as many as one in four motorists admitted to being close to dozing off while driving at least once over the previous month. That makes it close to 25% of motorists, who admit that drowsy driving is a problem for them while they are at the wheel.

About 33 percent of motorists between the ages 19 and 20 admitted that they had struggled to stay awake at the wheel at least once in the previous month. Certain categories of drivers were at a comparatively lower risk of drowsy driving, including drivers above the age of 75, and drivers in the 16 to 17 age category.

There seems to be a recognition of the fact that driving while sleepy, is simply not done. It increases your risk of an accident, and many motorists in the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, admitted as much. An overwhelming majority of 95% said that they believed that drowsy driving was unacceptable, while 82% called drowsy driving a “serious” threat. In fact, research has indicated to Los Angeles car accident lawyers that drowsy driving can have the same kind of effect on a person's driving abilities as driving under the influence of alcohol. In spite of this however, there seem to be far too many people driving when they are too impaired by lack of sleep.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety advises that motorists get plenty of sleep before they begin driving, especially before a long journey. Ideally you should have at least seven hours of sleep, before you begin driving. If you feel sleepy while driving, pull over somewhere safe. Take a short nap to recharge your batteries, before you get back to driving.

Sleeping in on Weekends Doesn't Fix Sleep Deprivation

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The widespread incidence of sleep deprivation in the American population has been a source of serious concern, not just for doctors and healthcare agencies, but also Los Angeles car accident lawyers. That's because a sleep-deprived motorist is much more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident. If you are in the habit of sleeping little every night, and making up for it by sleeping in for over the weekend, your risks of being involved in a drowsy driving accident may not necessarily reduce.

According to new research, people who sacrifice sleep during workweeks only to sleep for additional number of hours during the weekend,may not benefit from the extra hours of sleep. The research finds that extra sleep over the weekends doesn't necessarily improve a person’s concentration.

The research was conducted by a team at Penn State University. As part of the research, 30 adults who categorized themselves as normal sleepers were put through a predetermined sleep schedule. Under the schedule, subjects slept in a lab, and for the first four nights, they slept for eight hours. However, after the first four nights, the researchers woke up all of the subjects at least two hours early for six nights in a row. For the last three nights, these persons were put to bed for 10 hours.

The participants were given a series of tests, and were also asked to fill out questionnaires about how sleepy they were feeling. They were also given a test in which they were asked to press a button every time a dot appeared on the screen.

The researchers found that there was no significant improvement in the test results when the participants were getting just six hours of sleep per night, and when they slept for 10 hours straight.

CDC Drowsy Driving Report Finds One in 23 Americans Fell Asleep While Driving

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

As a motorist, you have a much higher chance of sharing the road with a drowsy driver than you know. According to a new report on drowsy driving by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 24 American adults admits that they recently dozed off at the wheel while driving.

That's the good news. The bad news is that those numbers are probably higher, because many incidents of drowsy driving go unreported. Many people don't believe that when they nod off for just a second or two, it constitutes drowsy driving. What that means is that the numbers of people dozing off at the wheel is much higher than any federal body can estimate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed approximately 147,000 adults in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and the surveys were conducted in 2009 and 2010. Men were much more likely to report falling asleep at the wheel. People between the age of 25 and 30 were also more likely to admit that they fell asleep at the wheel. Persons who admitted getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night seemed to be at a much higher risk of falling asleep at the wheel, which is not much of a surprise. What is interesting is that Texans are at a much higher risk of drowsy driving than the rest of the country.

None of these findings should be surprising to any Los Angeles car accident attorney, who knows that drowsy driving is one of the most underestimated highway safety issues in this country. Stress, fatigue and excessive work are far too common, and sleep deprivation is widespread in the American population, creating conditions that are ripe for drowsy driving.


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