National Sleep Foundation Program Focused on Youth Sleepy Driving
“This is an especially timely effort to create more awareness of fatal accidents related to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in younger people as well as all ages,” according to Robert B. Koenigsberg, President of SleepQuest, Inc. “We are paying special attention on our web sites from the November campaign on into 2008 and offering company speakers for groups interested in reducing dangerous drowsy driving in their own California communities. Many people do not realize what a serious problem sleepy and fatigued driving has become in California and throughout the nation.”
According to the National Sleep Foundation study from 2006, conducted by American Poll Agency, drivers get behind the wheel when sleepy all too often: 15% of drivers 17 and younger drive drowsy at least once a week. Falling asleep while driving can be disastrous. Rusty Burns, who was paralyzed in a crash while asleep at the wheel at age 18, says, “I’d gotten away with drowsy driving many times and even dozed off behind the wheel a time or two. But I found out the hard way, it’s not the number of times you get away with something that matters, it’s the ONE time you don’t, and you pay for it the rest of your life.”
Sleep Apnea Often a Fatigued Driving Cause
“Telling your doctor how you are sleeping can make the difference for a fatal fatigued driving accident,” according to Koenigsberg. “Tell your doctor about restlessness and snoring which are major signals. You may not be getting enough sleep because of sleep apnea.”
Keys to prevention of sleeping at the wheel may involve identifying when people have sleep apnea, the degree of the disease, and how to treat it. Using a nationally-recognized sleep care management company like SleepQuest is a prudent plan, when working in partnership with your physician, insurance company, and treatment equipment manufacturer.
It starts with testing for sleep apnea, breathing disorders, and non-invasive ventilation. At-home overnight testing is more comfortable and less costly. This sleep test can be set up in two days or less as versus waiting weeks to get into less personal but more expensive sleep laboratories.
The results can be the reduction of higher risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, memory loss, congestive heart failure, and drowsy driving accidents.
You can help save lives by supporting Drowsy Driving Prevention Week with your own sleep check-up and sharing public concerns about youth being asleep at the wheel. For more information, go to www.sleepfoundation.org/ddpw07.