Drowsy Driving

drowsy driving illustration Drivers who nod off behind the wheel cause more crashes and are as dangerous as drunk drivers according to a new AAA study.

About 10 percent of crashes each year are caused by drowsy drivers, the study found videos released by AAA show drivers who fall asleep for a few seconds and crossed into oncoming traffic, drifted out of lane, and ran off the road.

Under New Jersey “Maggie’s Law” which took effect in 2003, a driver who causes a fatal crash after driving without sleeping for 24 consecutive hours can be charged with vehicular homicide.

The AAA report comes the same week that the National Transportation Safety Board blamed an engineer’s undiagnosed sleep apnea for a Sept. 29th, 2016 commuter train crash in Hoboken that killed one person. Drowsiness is one of the signs of sleep apnea. It can be take up to 10 years before your physician diagnoses sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can also aggravate other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular problems, ect. Take this short standard sleep test, and if you have a score of 10 or more lets screen and test you. Remember people who have sleep apnea live 5-7 years shorter than someone without this very common problem.

Dr. Galante has been designated a qualified dentist by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Epworth sleepiness scale