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Announcements: Drowsy Driving Prevention Week --- November 6--12, 2011

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week will be observed November 6--12, 2011. The consequences of drowsy driving can be deadly. A report recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, based on a nationally representative sample of crashes during 1999--2008, indicated that drowsy driving was involved in an estimated 16.5% of fatal crashes and 13.1% of crashes resulting in hospital admission (1).

In the 2009 Sleep in America Poll, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, 28% of respondents said they had dozed off or fallen asleep while driving in the past year (2). In addition, 1% of those surveyed reported they either had an accident or a near accident in the past year because of drowsiness (2). According to the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, 4.7% of those surveyed in 12 states reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving in the preceding 30 days (3).

These findings suggest the need for increased awareness of the importance of adequate sleep, which can be achieved through improved sleep practices such as establishing a regular sleep schedule, maintaining an environment conducive to sleep, and avoiding strenuous physical activity or a heavy meal immediately before bedtime. Additional information regarding drowsy driving is available online from the National Sleep Foundation (http://drowsydriving.org) and CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/sleep).

References

  1. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Asleep at the wheel: the prevalence and impact of drowsy driving. Washington, DC: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; 2010. Available at http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/2010drowsydrivingreport.pdf. Accessed November 4, 2011.
  2. National Sleep Foundation. 2009 health and safety poll. Available at http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-america-polls/2009-health-and-safety. Accessed November 4, 2011.
  3. CDC. Unhealthy sleep-related behaviors---12 states, 2009. MMWR 2011;60:233--8.


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