CDC: 1 in 24 admit nodding off while driving

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm •  Published: January 3, 2013
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"A lot of people are getting insufficient sleep," said Dr. Gregory Belenky, director of Washington State University's Sleep and Performance Research Center in Spokane.

The government estimates that about 3 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve drowsy drivers, but other estimates have put that number as high as 33 percent.

Warning signs of drowsy driving: Feeling very tired, not remembering the last mile or two, or drifting onto rumble strips on the side of the road. That signals a driver should get off the road and rest, Wheaton said.

Even a brief moment nodding off can be extremely dangerous, she noted. At 60 mph, a single second translates to speeding along for 88 feet — the length of two school buses.

To prevent drowsy driving, health officials recommend getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, treating any sleep disorders and not drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

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Online:

CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr