Drowsy driving can be related to chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, or obesity. It is a contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors (7). It is ironic that while listening to this topic on National Public Radio; a driver who may have fallen asleep hit my car last Friday. Modeling studies on accidents that may have caused by drowsy drivers help build the data for various organizations. My state of Texas is among the states that used the sleep module to analyze the prevalence ratio of drowsy driving.
Describe the data that was collected. Who collected the data, what sources were used, and what type of data was collected?
During 2009-2012, data were collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). CDC analyzed data from the set of questions about insufficient sleep administered from random-digit–dialed telephone survey of non-institutionalized adults aged ≥18 years. The survey was administered by state health departments each year in collaboration with CDC. Response had a median of 52.1% and ranged from 39.1% (Oregon in 2010) to 68.8% (Nebraska in 2010). It was based on the respondents experience on 30 day period, including data regarding fallen asleep while driving even for a brief period. Differences between subgroups are statistically significant, after age-adjustment prevalence. T-tests were used to determine the prevalence between subgroups, statistical significance (p<0.05).
What recommendations were made?
Recommendation from the National Sleep Foundation suggests hours of sleep per day for adults and children. Healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day, and school-age children might require 10-11 hours of sleep (3). The National Sleep Awareness Week is an annual public education and awareness campaign to promote the importance of sleep. The report released in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine on the public health stress importance of the development of intervention for sleep and drowsy driving. Healthy People 2020 added a set of sleep health objective, including to reduce the rate of motor vehicle crashes caused by drowsy driving. Other surveys have addressed the problem, based on U.S. survey respondents. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report in 2010 based on 2,000 U.S. residents. On March 3-10, 2013, the National Sleep Awareness Week will begin with the announcement of the National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll results and ends with the clock change to Daylight Saving Time. The Daylight Saving Time is when Americans lose one hour of sleep.
How might this data be used for planning, development policy development and/or program planning?
This data can help decision and policy makers to set new mandatory safety standard equipments in all new vehicles. Research needs to focus on countermeasures, and help develop mandate to include sleep detection and driver alert system on the dashboard. To help policy makers and program developers, efficient methods to estimate crashes caused by drowsy drivers need to be in place.
A multifaceted approach that includes increase public awareness, education and training in sleep medicine for appropriate health-care professionals is needed. Continued public health surveillance of sleep quality, duration, behaviors, and disorders are needed to understand and address