NTSB forum focuses on dangers of drowsy driving
Attendees at a recent forum sponsored by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) heard estimates that anywhere from 1,000 to 7,500 people are killed annually because of drowsy driving.
Sufficient, good quality sleep is fundamental to alertness and human performance, yet so many Americans are on the road dangerously impaired by lack of sleep, said NTSB member Mark Rosekind at the forum in Washington, Awake, Alert, Alive: Overcoming the Dangers of Drowsy Driving.
We do not have a fatigue-alyzerê as we have a breath-alyzerê for alcohol intoxication, Rosekind said. Yet the crashes are tragic, needless and preventable. Even one night losing just two hours of sleep is enough to significantly impair a driverês abilities.
The conference uncovered the complexity of the problem. Some steps discussed were roadway design and construction that acknowledges the risks associated with fatigued-driving emergencies, and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Some car models offer options that could be helpful in such situations, such as lane departure warnings.Download Bulletin PDF