Driving while drunk results in thousands of injuries and deaths each year, but operating a motor vehicle without adequate sleep can be just as dangerous. In this podcast, Dr. Daniel Chapman discusses the dangers of driving while drowsy. Created: 11/17/2011 by MMWR.
Date Released: 11/17/2011. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Stay Awake Behind the Wheel
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week — November 6–12, 2011
Recorded: November 15, 2011; posted: November 17, 2011
[Announcer] This program is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I'm your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
Driving while drunk results in thousands of injuries and deaths each year, but operating a motor vehicle without adequate sleep can be just as dangerous.
Dr. Daniel Chapman is a researcher with CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. He's joining us today to discuss the dangers of driving while drowsy. Welcome to the show, Dan.
[Dr. Chapman] Thank you for having me.
[Dr. Gaynes] Dan, how serious is the problem of driving while drowsy?
[Dr. Chapman] It's actually quite serious. Drowsy driving was implicated in about 16 percent of fatal crashes and about 13 percent of crashes resulting in hospitalization.
[Dr. Gaynes] What are some reasons that people don't get enough rest?
[Dr. Chapman] Well, we live in an increasingly electronic age where people are connected to electronic medium, television, whatnot, and we're just not getting the adequate sleep that we should.
[Dr. Gaynes] How much sleep does the average adult need each day?
[Dr. Chapman] Roughly about seven to nine hours of sleep per night. It varies from individual to individual so some people can get away with a little less; some people need a little bit more.
[Dr. Gaynes] What are some strategies to help people get enough sleep?
[Dr. Chapman] Well, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, avoiding alcohol or strenuous activity too close to bedtime, and sleeping in a cool or comfortable environment can be very helpful. But Americans are simply not getting enough rest. In fact, in a recent survey, it showed that 28 percent of people reported falling asleep behind the wheel in the past year.
[Dr. Gaynes] Dan, where can listeners get more information about driving while drowsy?
[Dr. Gaynes] Thanks, Dan. I've been talking today with CDC's Dr. Daniel Chapman about the dangers of driving while drowsy.
To ensure that you're well-rested and ready to drive, establish healthy sleep practices. Maintain a regular sleep schedule; create an environment that's dark, quiet, and comfortable; and avoid strenuous activity before bedtime.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with CDC.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.