Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Narcolepsy and other Sleep Disorders topics.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of American drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at some point since receiving a license. What's more, 8 percent of them admitted doing so in the past six months and 60 percent admitted to falling asleep while driving on an interstate-type highway with posted speeds of 55 MPH or higher.
Driver fatigue is responsible for an estimated 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,500 deaths each year.
While we all must take precautions against driving while drowsy, people with narcolepsy usually get behind the wheel feeling alert and sleepiness overtakes them suddenly and severely.
There are products on the market to help narcoleptics and everyone who worries about falling asleep by driving. They are systems that help you wake up when you doze off while driving. Here's how one system, called Doze Alert, works:
If you start to nod off while you are driving and your head falls forward, the product buzzes loudly in your ear and help you avoid the danger of falling asleep at the wheel. It is a lightweight device that fits behind your ear comfortably, even if you wear glasses.
The alert runs on a tiny battery and contains a switch that allows the wearer to set the head angle that activates it. The device comes in a box that has a sticky patch on the bottom so it can be attached to the dashboard for easy access.
For about $40, Americans can buy the Doze Alert system, which the company claims saves thousands of lives.