Posted on: January 29, 2014 by Chuck Krugh, CFP
Statistics on Drowsy Driving
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) underscore the dangers of sleep deprived driving. In fact, it’s estimated that 100,000 police reported crashes each year occur because of driver fatigue. These collisions account for more than 1,500 deaths and at least 71,000 injuries as well as billions of productivity and property losses.
Those most likely to fall asleep at the wheel include:
To the last point, studies indicate that individuals who sleep less than six hours per day or who snored are most likely to fall asleep while driving. The graph below from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows the lower the amount of sleep hours, the greater the possibility of falling asleep while driving.
The National Sleep Foundation published the results of a 2005 “Sleep in America” poll. The study indicated that about 60% of drivers—or about 168 million people—had driven a vehicle while being drowsy and 37% stated they actually fell asleep at the wheel!
Below are 10 facts about drowsy driving (from drowsydriving.org):
The warning signs of drowsy driving include:
Medical Residents and Drowsy Driving
It is a well-known fact that many medical residents are required to work lengthy and rigorous shifts. According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, 24 hour shifts are allowed plus an additional 6 hours to finish work. While it is stated that … this danger should not be an accepted and routine part of residency training…, the reality is residents are scheduled according to their training program and are expected by the hospital to work those hours.
This puts them squarely in the high risk category. (One report from the mid-nineties on this topic even labeled residents as misguided missiles.)
In addition, working in a medical facility which involves taking care of sick people, making stressful decisions, as well as moving constantly tires the healthcare worker out. It can result in dangerous commutes home for them and other drivers on the road.
Despite lawsuits and recommendations from studies, this situation for residents is not likely to end soon. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is a hazard residents need to be aware of so they can take steps to minimize their risk.
This report was prepared by Doctor Disability.
Doctor Disability specializes in providing disability insurance to physicians including residents. Disability income insurance pays benefits to people who, as a result of an injury or illness, are unable to perform the duties of their occupation. Disability insurance is best purchased at the beginning of a medical career. It protects the most valuable asset of all—the ability to earn.
According to the US Commerce Dept., nearly 1 in 5 people living in the U.S. will suffer a disability lasting for more than a year before the age of 65.
For more information, go to DoctorDisabilty.com.