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Mike Bryant
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Good Sleep Can Make for Better Driving

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National Sleep Awareness Week 2011
March 7-13, 2011

Past studies are startling concerning the number of people who drive when they are tired. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of all adults have driven drowsy at least once during the past year; 28 percent said they’ve nodded off behind the wheel. This is just the people who admit to it. Other studies have suggested that early start times for schools have added a large number of teenagers to this group.

Having deposed a number of defendants, I can’t remember the last time they admitted to being tired at the time of the accidents. Sometimes they admit it to the officer at the scene, but unless the investigation is immediate or they are forthright in the reason for the accident, it’s unlikely that the sleepiness will be ever found out. The reality being that it’s probably a major reason in a number of the accidents.

Research continues to suggest that sleep apnea may play a large role in the sleep issues , particularly in larger men. The sleep research labs suggest the following issues to keep a look out for:

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • snoring
  • gasping for air
  • headaches
  • excessive movements in bed
  • a partner who won’t sleep in bed with you

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about sleep apnea.

So get some sleep and make sure you are safe on the roads.