Everyone in Bellingham and beyond knows a drunk driver is a dangerous driver. But another hazard equally dangerous is often overlooked - drowsy driving.
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Asleep at Wheel/Driver Fatigue
As if that wasn’t surprising enough, as many as one-third of fatal car wrecks are caused by drowsy drivers. Yet, the public is not as educated about this issue as it is about drunk or distracted driving.
These findings support the need for sleep screening for truck drivers to prevent accidents in Island County and across the nation.
Truck drivers that suffer from sleep apnea and do not follow their treatment plan are at risk for higher truck accident rates then truck drivers who do not have sleep apnea.
And it’s not getting better on its own. In the past decade, the U.S. has seen a 20% increase in the number of truck accidents. This could be attributed to a few things: the upturn in the economy requiring more trucks on the road, changing regulations, or perhaps the increasing amount of truckers with sleep disorders and obesity-related illnesses.
According to their findings, as many as 21% of fatal auto accidents involve drowsy driving. Approximately 13% of crashes requiring a trip to the emergency room, and 7% of all crashes, are caused by sleep-deprived drivers.
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