New CDC analysis links risk behaviors to drowsy driving
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Monday, July 7, 2014
A new analysis published online on July 4 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified risk behaviors associated with drowsy driving. The CDC analyzed responses from more than 92,000 participants in 10 states and Puerto Rico who completed the 2011–2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys.
Results show a higher drowsy driving prevalence of 5.2 percent among binge drinkers and 6.6 percent among drivers who were less likely to wear seatbelts while driving or riding in a car. Drowsy driving did not vary by smoking status. The CDC concluded that interventions to address binge drinking, alcohol-impaired driving, and nonuse of seatbelts also might help reduce drowsy driving crashes.
Data also were consistent with previous findings linking insufficient sleep and snoring to an increased risk of drowsy driving. The current CDC analysis found that respondents who usually slept 5 hours or less per 24 hours had the highest prevalence of drowsy driving at 9.1 percent. Drowsy driving decreased to 5.2 percent among those who slept 6 hours and 2.7 percent among those who slept at least 7 hours.
Snorers also had a higher rate of drowsy driving (5.6%) than non-snorers (2.9%). Drowsy driving decreased with age from 5.9 percent among adults between the ages of 18–24 years to 1.8 percent among adults who were 65 years of age or older, and the age-adjusted prevalence of drowsy driving was higher among men (5%) than women (3.0%).