US study shows increasing number of people are falling asleep behind the wheel
We normally think that drunk drivers are the most dangerous risks on the roads. However this is not always true, as there is another type of driver which may be more hazardous. These drivers are known as ‘drowsy drivers’, who are known to fall asleep behind the wheel and are a prominent cause of concern for highway safety officials.
The number of drowsy drivers on highways are increasing according to a study performed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A little more than 4% of US adults fell asleep at least once while driving during December 2012. Texas was the drowsiest state with 6.1% and most alert state was Oregon, with only 2.5 % of adults saying that they had fallen asleep at the wheel.
The CDC came to these results after conducting a massive survey involving 147,000 people aged 18 years and older in 2009 and 2010 for the study. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is involved in 2.5 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Experts call this phenomenon ‘microsleep’. They also suggest that anyone who feels drowsy should exit the road and rest for while.
To prevent drowsy driving, the CDC recommends getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, to treat sleeping disorders. Not drinking alcohol before driving is also important to ensure you are awake and alert behind the wheel.