SUMMER ROAD TRIPS COMING UP? DON’T DRIVE DROWSY… No Sleep, No Driving
Dr. Michael Simmons, DMD, who specializes in treating sleep disorders, is on the board of the AADSM (American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine) and was instrumental in helping create the Dentists Against Drowsy Driving Public Safety Initiative.
“Drowsy Driving is as dangerous as drunk driving” Says Dr. Simmons. “Drowsy drivers cause 100,000 motor vehicle collisions annually and are a factor in almost 20% of all serious accidents.”
Dr. Simmons offers some tips on how to recognize you are too drowsy to drive:
- You have been awake for 16 hours or more
- You have had less than 7 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours
- You have interrupted sleep from an untreated sleep disorder
- You are yawning constantly
- You find it hard keep your eyes open
- You feel restless and irritable
- You find yourself nodding off or daydreaming
- You are missing roadmaps and your off ramp
- You can’t quite remember where the last few miles went
- You are tailgating the car in front of you
- You are alerted of having crossed the rumble strip by hearing or feeling the raised bumps (Bott’s Dots)
- If you know you are going to have a late night, take an afternoon nap.
- Have some caffeine and wait 30 minutes for it to take effect before you drive.
- Switch drivers at intervals.
- If you find yourself nodding off or having a hard time keeping your eyes open, pull off the road and take a nap. Make sure your doors are locked.
- Hiring a limo or taxi is always a good alternative if you know you are headed out for a late night.
- Do not mix alcohol, and driving …get someone else to drive or take a cab home. This potentially deadly mix is even worse when you are fatigued.
AADSM is a professional membership society that is dedicated to promoting treatment of sleep-disorders and breathing problems which can lead to sleep apnea and other health issues. Part of its mission is to increase public awareness of sleep-related problems such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and other breathing related issues that can lead to drowsy driving.
To find out more about sleep disorders which might cause drowsy driving or in some instances may be life threatening, please contact Dr. Simmons office at
www.DrMichaelSimmons.com or call the office for a consultation at 818-300-0070