Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer
spacer
spacer


Announcement: Drowsy Driving Prevention Week --- November 2--8, 2009

November 2--8 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Driving while drowsy is a major contributor to an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle crashes per year and results in more than 1,500 deaths nationwide (1). Sleepiness demonstrably impairs safe driving by reducing alertness and slowing reaction time.

Several factors can contribute to drowsy driving (1). Although insufficient sleep duration and fragmented sleep are significant causes of drowsiness, circadian rhythms cause increased sleepiness during the afternoon, even with adequate sleep. Sedating medications and consumption of alcohol also cause drowsiness, which is amplified with sleep deprivation. Untreated sleep disorders also can contribute to excessive sleepiness.

Groups at higher risk for sleep-related crashes include bus, truck, and other commercial drivers; shift workers and persons with more than one job or irregular work hours; persons with untreated sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy; and drivers aged <26 years, especially males (2). In addition, adolescents are more likely than older drivers to be sleep-deprived because of school schedules, social activities, and shifting circadian rhythms (3).

Good sleep practices (http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/hygiene.htm) include establishing a regular sleep schedule, avoiding intense physical activity or large meals before bedtime, and ensuring an environment conducive to sleep. For short-term improvement of alertness, drivers can park and take a 15--20 minute nap or consume caffeine. High-intensity lighting, nap breaks during shifts, and breaks from repetitive work can reduce the risk for drowsy driving among shift workers. Diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders also are important in reducing the risk for drowsy driving. Additional information is available from the National Sleep Foundation (http://drowsydriving.org) and CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/sleep).

References

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drowsy driving. Ann Emerg Med 2005;45:433--4.
  2. Stutts JC, Wilkins JW, Osberg JS, Vaughn BV. Driver risk factors for sleep-related crashes. Accid Anal Prev 2003;35:321--31.
  3. Danner F, Phillips B. Adolescent sleep, school start times, and teen motor vehicle crashes. J Clin Sleep Med 2008;4:533--5.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

Date last reviewed: 10/29/2009

HOME  |  ABOUT MMWR  |  MMWR SEARCH  |  DOWNLOADS  |  RSSCONTACT
POLICY  |  DISCLAIMER  |  ACCESSIBILITY

Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A

USA.GovDHHS

Department of Health
and Human Services