Missing 1-2 Hours of Sleep Doubles Crash Risk
Dr. Lee Ostler
Dec 21, 2016
“Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35% of US drivers sleep less than the recommended 7 hours daily. And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on US roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than 7 hours of sleep may have deadly consequences.”
Amazingly, the study found that when drivers miss 2-3 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period of time, it quadrupled the risk of a crash, which is the same crash risk level as driving drunk.
Although sleep apnea was not specifically mentioned as being involved, daytime tiredness and falling asleep at the wheel is a major aspect to sleep apnea and why its so important to have this dealt with, with proper diagnosis and treatment. The problem for many is that many people diagnosed with sleep apnea either can’t or refuse to wear a CPAP device to help them sleep. This leaves them at risk for both the diseases associated with sleep apnea, as well as the dangers on the road while driving.
By extrapolation, the dangers aren’t just about you falling asleep at the wheel, it also includes other drivers on the road who are driving tired. Of course, good defensive driving is important to help prevent your involvement in a crash.
The bottom line is to make the point about the importance of good health-restoring sleep. If you or someone you love aren’t sleeping well, has sleep apnea or snores, these are big red flags that something is wrong and needs to be dealt with. Call and make an appointment now to learn about your options. The life you save could be theirs, or yours!
To say nothing about getting some good nights sleep again!