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Notice to Readers: Drowsy Driving Prevention Week --- November 5--11, 2007

Although most persons understand the potentially fatal consequences of drinking and driving, many are unaware of the often fatal consequences of driving while drowsy. In the 2005 Sleep in America poll, 37% of respondents (representing 103 million U.S. residents) reported that they had fallen asleep while driving during the preceding year (1). Even experienced long-distance truck drivers are vulnerable; 47.1% of those surveyed in an earlier study reported that they had fallen asleep while driving a truck at some time during their lives (2). In addition to causing injury and death, drowsy driving incidents have resulted in jail sentences for drivers and lawsuits against drivers or the companies that employ them (1). Groups found to be at increased risk for drowsy driving include men aged <26 years, night-shift workers, commercial drivers, and persons with undiagnosed or untreated sleep disorders (1).

November 5--11, 2007, is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. CDC encourages parents, health educators, and the general public to learn more about healthy sleep practices, including those that can prevent drowsy driving. Information about healthy sleep practices is available from the National Sleep Foundation at http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site, from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/sleep, and from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep. In addition, information regarding a congressional report on collaborations between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research is available at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/human/drowsy2/drws-cov.htm. Educational materials regarding drowsy driving are available at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/outreach/safesobr/21qp/html/coming_attractions/wake_up.html.

References

  1. National Sleep Foundation. 2005 Sleep in America poll. Available at http://www.sleepfoundation.org.
  2. McCartt AT, Rohrbaugh JW, Hammer MC, Fuller SZ. Factors associated with falling asleep at the wheel among long-distance truck drivers. Accid Anal Prev 2000;32:493--504.

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Date last reviewed: 11/1/2007

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