Stay Alert, CDC Warns Drivers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is raising public awareness of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, which happens to begin immediately after every person in America remembers to turn back his or her clocks, watches, wireless devices, computer clocks, etc. one hour Sunday evening. (That's how it is supposed to work, at least.) Nov. 5-11 is this year's week, and CDC is encouraging parents, health educators, and the public to learn more about healthy sleep practices, including those that can prevent drowsy driving.

In a 2005 Sleep in America poll (available at www.sleepfoundation.org), 37 percent of respondents reported they had fallen asleep while driving during the preceding year. That percentage represents 103 million U.S. residents. Even experienced long-distance truck drivers are vulnerable, CDC said. Forty-seven percent of those surveyed in an earlier study reported that they had fallen asleep while driving a truck at some time during their lives.

Information about healthy sleep practices is available from CDC at www.cdc.gov/sleep and from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at this page. In addition, information on a congressional report on collaborations between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research is available at www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/human/drowsy2/drws-cov.htm.

Visit this page tor a guide explaining the dangers of drowsy driving.

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