Drowsy Drivers - Medical Implications of Highway Traffic Safety
Keywords:drowsy driver, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, highway accidents, primary prevention, secondary prevention, sleep apnea syndrome, sleep disorders
The estimates of the contribution of drowsiness and fatigue to the number of road crashes is often neglected considerably, due both to under-reporting of these factors by drivers, and technical difficulty in investigating the problem. Preventing and treating the reasons for falling asleep behind the wheel may have considerable contribution in traffic safety. Therefore the licensing authorities in co-operation with the medical profession should attend more closely to the issue of sleep related disorders and their implications for driving in cases with notoriously high risk. The police and other enforcement authorities need appropriate knowledge and procedures to detect drivers at risk of falling asleep while driving. Considering the increasing number of road traffic accidents day per day, it is a need of the hour to detect drivers possibly at risk, and to take appropriate precautions in terms of education, advice and treatment regimes, as well as restrictions on licensing.
Kathmandu Univ Med J 2011;9(1):69-71