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Announcement: Drowsy Driving Prevention Week --- November 8--14, 2010

November 8--14 is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. Driving while drowsy contributes annually to an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle crashes and approximately 1,500 deaths nationwide (1). The 2009 Sleep in America Poll reported that approximately 30% of respondents had driven drowsy at least once per month during the past year, and approximately 1% had a crash or near-crash because of driving while drowsy during that time (2).

Inadequate sleep impairs safe driving by reducing alertness and slowing reaction time (1). Groups at higher risk for sleep-related crashes include 1) bus, truck, and other commercial drivers; 2) shift workers; 3) persons with more than one job or irregular work hours; 4) persons with untreated sleep disorders (e.g., sleep apnea or narcolepsy); and 5) drivers aged ≤25 years (3).

Teens are more likely than older drivers to be sleep-deprived (4). Adults and teens need 7--9 hours and 8.5--9.25 hours of sleep per day, respectively. Additional information is available from the National Sleep Foundation ( and CDC (


  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drowsy driving. Ann Emerg Med 2005;45:433--4.
  2. National Sleep Foundation. 2009 Sleep in America Poll: summary of findings. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation; 2009. Available at Sleep in America SOF EMBARGOED.pdf. Accessed October 28, 2010.
  3. Stutts JC, Wilkins JW, Osberg JS, Vaughn BV. Driver risk factors for sleep-related crashes. Accid Anal Prev 2003;35:321--31.
  4. Danner F, Phillips B. Adolescent sleep, school start times, and teen motor vehicle crashes. J Clin Sleep Med 2008;4:533--5.

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