On December 19, 2012, Money News published an article indicating that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine had just accredited its 2,500th sleep center.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has been accrediting centers since 1977 but the number of centers is now at an all time high. In fact, there are double the number of centers than were available just a decade ago.
Our Tuscaloosa injury attorneys are pleased that more attention is being given to the problem of sleep disorders and that more people are seeking treatment. When people get help with their sleep problems, it could cut down on the high number of drowsy driving accidents.
The news that more people are getting help with sleep issues couldn’t come at a better time, as a recently released study by the CDC demonstrates that drowsy driving is a very widespread problem.
Getting Help For Sleep Disorders
According to the Money News Article, there are as many as 70 million people in the United States who are suffering from sleep problems including insomnia and sleep apnea. Sleep problems can lead to other issues including severe depression. They can also greatly increase the risk of becoming involved in a drowsy driving crash. As the Money News Article points out, an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Survey has indicated that as many as one out of every five fatal car accidents involves a drowsy driver.
A new study conducted by the CDC also emphasizes that sleep disorders can be dangerous and can increase the risk of drowsy driving crashes. As reported by the New York Times, the CDC study indicated that both sleep deprivation and snoring can increase the likelihood that someone will drive when they are too tired to do so safely. This can have very real consequences, as in 2009 when the New York Times reports that 730 fatal auto accidents occurred due to fatigued drivers.
New Study Shows Drowsy Driving Dangers are Widespread
In addition to indicating that snoring was a top cause of drowsy driving, the New York Times reports that the recent CDC study also took a look at just how many people were driving when sleep deprived. Unfortunately, this new study reveals that the answer to this question is that a huge number of people drive when fatigued. According to the New York Times, the CDC study revealed that:
Over four percent of all drivers is a lot of drivers, so it is no wonder that there are so many drowsy driving crashes. It is also no wonder that more people than ever before are seeking help for sleep disturbance. If you are so tired that you are falling asleep when driving, then you need to do something to fix the problem.
Hopefully, as more and more people become aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and of the fact that there is help available for those with sleep problems, more people will get treatment and there will be fewer people nodding off behind the wheel.
Will Aging Populations Up The Risk of Auto Accidents? Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, December 29, 2012.