Indiana News

Survey: 1 in 24 Admit Falling Asleep While Driving

1/4/2013

There is much talk about the effects of alcohol on driving a car, but a lack of sleep on the part of many drivers may be just as big a problem.

Listen:

A new survey from the Centers for Disease Control says that one out of every 24 adults admits to falling asleep while driving a vehicle at least once over the previous month.  The CDC says it's the largest survey of its kind, with more than 147,000 adults interviewed over a two-year period in 2009 and 2010.

Dr. Deborah Givan, a pediatric sleep specialist at Riley Children's Hospital, says the four-percent of adults who admit to nodding off while driving may actually be higher, since many people don't admit to their own negative behavior.  She says technology that keeps us awake longer, such as iPads and other mobile devices, are also used more now than they were when the survey was taken.

Givan says sleep deprivation was not a problem for almost anyone a century ago, since there wasn't much to do other than go to bed after the sun went down. She says the standard recommendation of seven-to-eight hours of sleep at night still stands, and says if you get that much sleep and are still sleepy, you should see your doctor to be tested for sleep apnea or another medical problem.

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