Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sleep-Related Road Crashes

National Lampoon's film Vacation portrayed the Griswold family's madcap trek across the country to Wally World.  One particularly memorable scene depicted the entire family sleeping soundly and comfortably.  When the camera pans back we realize that they are asleep in a rapidly moving, out-of-control vehicle, and that Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is snoozing behind the wheel.

That scene got a lot of chuckles from audiences, but driver fatigue is no laughing matter.  Jim Tornetta from CollisionMax says, "Accidents involving driver fatigue are twice as likely to result in fatalities because a sleeping driver is unable to brake or swerve."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are 56,000 sleep-related road crashes annually in the USA, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.  So how will you know if you are too tired to continue driving?  You probably won't.

See our next blog about sleep and fatigue.

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