Washington, DC – November 8, 2010 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 crashes per year are caused by fatigued drivers, resulting in more than 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. It is also startling to know that half of all American adult drivers admit to driving drowsy in the past year and almost one in five admit to falling asleep behind the wheel.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends some tips to prevent drowsy driving. Before going on a trip it is important to get adequate sleep, schedule proper breaks, and arrange for a travel companion.
There are also a number of warning signs of sleepiness or fatigue that you should be aware of while driving. If you start to do any of the following it’s time to get off the road and find a safe place to pull over:
- Have problems focusing, blink frequently and/or have heavy eyelids
- Drift from your lane, swerve, tailgate and/or hit rumble strips
- Have trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Miss exits or traffic signs
- Yawn repeatedly
- Finding yourself rolling down the windows or turning up the radio
The Sleep Center at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) treats patients with a number of sleep disorders including drowsy driving. It is very common for patients with sleep disorders to go undiagnosed for years. Getting a sleep study can assist physicians in making a proper diagnosis.
Dr. David Gross, NRH Sleep Center Director says, “It is very important for people who are experiencing symptoms of sleepiness or fatigue to take action. After getting a sleep study, patients can be on their way to a more restful sleep and a better quality of life, including safe driving.”
Learn more about services offered at The NRH Sleep Center.
National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) is a private, not-for-profit facility located in Northwest Washington, D.C. NRH’s services are designed specifically for the rehabilitation of individuals with disabling injuries and illnesses such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and disease, arthritis, amputations, post-polio syndrome, chronic pain, back and neck pain, occupational injuries, cancer and cardiac disease that require medical rehabilitation, and other neurological and orthopedic conditions. NRH admits approximately 2,200 inpatients annually, has appeared on the “Best Hospitals” list in U.S. News & World Report for 16 consecutive years and is currently ranked among the top hospitals in medical rehabilitation in America. NRH has the only CARF accredited specialty program for both Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke in the region. In addition, NRH’s Spinal Cord Injury Program has been designated one of only 14 Model SCI Systems of care in the country by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a part of the Department of Education. NRH is a proud member of MedStar Health.
The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) is a non-profit organization with the goal to advance the specialty of hand therapy through communication, education, research and the establishment of clinical standards. ASHT’s nearly 3,000 members in the United States, Canada and around the world strive to be recognized leaders in the hand therapy profession. For more information about hand therapy or to find a hand therapist in your area, visit www.asht.org