Today Show Looks at Drowsy Teen Drivers
The Today Show recently featured a segment on drowsy driving among teens. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2006 Sleep in America poll, 51 percent of all adolescents who drive reported that they had driven drowsy at least once in the past year. Among those adolescents, 5 percent had nodded off or fallen asleep while driving in the past year, and 27 percent of those respondents had an accident or near accident due to drowsiness while driving. The Today Show segment notes that fatigue is a factor in about 100,000 crashes every year, most involving young drivers. National Sleep Foundation Chairman Thomas J. Balkin, PhD, told the Today Show , "In many ways, driving drowsy is very much like driving drunk." According to Balkin, drowsiness — like alcohol — can severely impair a driver's reflexes, judgment and awareness.