Friday, October 12, 2007

Drowsy Driving Kills

To steal a phrase from David Letterman; “I wouldn’t give my troubles to a monkey on a rock.” Busy craziness, anyway…

I recently joined a listserv pertaining to child death review. I have gotten interesting information on several topics and so it seems like it will be a good source of stuff (unlike some others I have joined and quit). The other day I got a notice about an upcoming “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week”, November 5-11.

According to studies, being awake for 17 hours impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction time comparable to a blood alcohol of 0.05. Having seen some crashes and death related to driving drowsy, I can easily believe that that is the case. The National Highway Safety Administration reports that there are 1550 deaths and 71,000 injuries in crashes related to driving drowsy each year.

Drowsiness-related crashes are most common in teens and young adults who have the propensity to sleep too little and drive at night. So it is particularly important to get this information to them, let your teens know. Also keep it mind for yourself. You are only human. You can only push yourself so far.

Driving drowsy kills just as surely as does driving drunk.


RevMedic said...

Thanks for the link to the Drowzy Driving site. We do it all the time, and have been lucky so far.

GeorgeH said...

17 hours causes an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05.

Just how impaired are ER Interns and Residents who have been up 36 or 48 hours? It's a miracle anyone survives the ER.

Dr. Richard Keller said...

Not a good thought to have, but certainly worth keeping in mind. Also, beware of July when the new residents and interns start.

Jody said...

I work for a downtown DC law firm and have done my share of 18+ hour days. I usually leave my car at the subway, take a cab all the way home, & take a bus to the subway the next morning. DC traffic is no fun when you're alert, let alone drowsy.

james said...

No Nap is a inexpensive automobile safety device, that prevents drivers falling asleep at the wheel. This intelligent device is designed to detect when the driver is in danger of DOZING off and immediately alerts him / co passengers. Prevents a potential crash. The light weight gadget fits over drivers left ear and triggers alert buzzer observing the drivers drowsiness. No Nap is a essential safety device a MUST HAVE on all road travels.

nsfSLEEP said...

It is extremely important that Americans understand the hazards and potential tragedies of drowsy driving. Each year, thousands of people are injured or die as a result of car crashes caused by driving while sleepy. Most people are aware of the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol, but more education is needed to communicate the grave dangers of drowsy driving, which is an all-too-common occurrence.

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) first-ever “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week” kicks off the year-long campaign. NSF has created a consumer-friendly and very comprehensive collection of resources easily available for download. These educational resources include fact sheets, print PSAs, radio scripts, press releases, posters, flyers and much more. Visit to review the breadth of information available.

While you are on the site, you can read first-hand moving memorials and testimonials to those whose lives have been impacted by drowsy driving tragedies. These sad and poignant pieces truly hit home.

NSF is extremely committed to this cause. Education about drowsy driving prevention WILL save lives.