Drowsy Driving Linked to Failure to Buckle up, Binge Drinking

Binge drinkers and persons who fail to buckle up while driving are much more likely to be involved in drowsy driving accidents.

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines a number of risk factors for drowsy driving accidents. One of those factors is binge drinking. Drowsy driving is likely to be much more common among binge drinkers than those who drink moderately, or those who abstain from alcohol.

Additionally, persons who drive while drowsy are much less likely to wear their seatbelts. In fact, these people are likely to report only sometimes wearing their seatbelts, or never bothering to buckle up while driving or riding in a car. Persons with a lower risk of drowsy driving seem to be much more likely to buckle up while driving.

According to the CDC report, as many as 7,500 fatal accidents every year are likely linked to drowsy driving. Between 2009 and 2010, 4.2% of adult respondents in a study reported that they had driven while drowsy on at least one occasion during the previous month. If you have less than six hours of sleep a day, snore in your sleep or fall asleep during the daytime, you have a much higher risk of reporting drowsy driving.

Apart from the obvious lack of sleep deprivation that leads to such driving, prescription drug use is another much neglected factor in drowsy driving. If you are on medications like antihypertensives, antidepressants, cough and cold medications, antihistamines, or a number of other medications including over-the-counter drugs that induce drowsiness, you are at a much higher risk of driving while sleepy or fatigued. That increases your risk of being involved in a potentially serious accident.

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