Medical factors of falling asleep behind the wheel.
The case of drivers sleeping on the wheel while driving, accounts for major proportion of accidents on the highway. People do not really consider this as one of he major causes of road/traffic accidents. It has been asserted that 2.5% up to 20% people suffer immensely from Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) with sleep deprivation ranking as the major resultant factor.
There is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and medical problems, especially sleep disturbances. The Sleep Apnea Syndrome (SAS). This is a sleeping disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. This has been identified as the most common cause of habitual drowsy driving. Patients with (SAS) are 6 times more likely to have accidents while driving. After adequate treatment of severe SAS with proper and continuous positive airway pressure, the risk of accidents lowered 5 times.
Other important sleep disturbances include chronic insomnia, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement in sleep.
Regular or single Intake of drugs (benzodiazepines, antidepressants, antihistaminics, antipsychotic and others) can itself induce sleep problems. Sleepiness in people without sleep disorder can occur due to presentable causes such as poor sleep habits which lead to sleep deprivation.
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