Various news agencies are reporting that several people were injured early Tuesday morning when a Hyundai Sonata rear-ended a JTA Bus. Officials said the driver of a Hyundai Sonata fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended the JTA bus. The bus had 38 people passengers at the time of the crash and nine people were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, including seven passengers, the driver of the car and bus driver.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were injured in this accident. We hope for a speedy recovery for all.
Acording to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll, 60% of adult drivers – about 168 million people – say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third, (37% or 103 million people), have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. In fact, of those who have nodded off, 13% say they have done so at least once a month. Four percent – approximately eleven million drivers – admit they have had an accident or near accident because they dozed off or were too tired to drive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.
Who is at risk?
Sleep related crashes are most common in young people, especially men, adults with children and shift workers. According to the NSF’s 2002 poll:
- Adults between 18-29 are much more likely to drive while drowsy compared to other age groups (71% vs. 30-64, 52% vs. 65+, 19%).
- Men are more likely than women to drive while drowsy (56% vs. 45%) and are almost twice as likely as women to fall asleep while driving (22% vs. 12%).
- Adults with children in the household are more likely to drive drowsy than those without children (59% vs. 45%).
- Shift workers are more likely than those who work a regular daytime schedule to drive to or from work drowsy at least a few days a month (36% vs. 25%).
- Sleep deprivation increases the risk of a sleep-related crash; the less people sleep, the greater the risk.
According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.