Monday, October 14, 2013

Micro-sleep can be lethal: Driver fatigue is greatly underestimated - NEWS

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 After a traffic accident completely destroyed car., the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and collided with his car hit a tree After a traffic accident completely destroyed car: The driver was asleep at the wheel and his car crashed into a tree (Photo: AP).

Monday 14 October 2013

drivers who get behind the wheel begin overtired, often their last trip: A great deal of traffic accidents on Germany’s roads has to do with driver fatigue. The degree of sleepiness at the wheel keep German physicians for extremely underestimated. Now the alarm.

Often it is just a short message in cool German police: driver fatigue crashed into tree – death at the scene. But the factual messages add up each year to a variety of tragedies, one of which crosses testify at the roadside. Sleep researchers from 19 European countries now propose alarm. In Germany alone, according to the intermediate results of their online survey, 42 percent of car, bus and truck drivers sleep attacks behind the wheel. One in five accidents caused by estimation of the German Society of Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM) due to fatigue.

With these numbers in the luggage, the scientists want the end of the week to travel to Brussels – EU transport experts. “Wake up” (wake up) They call their action. “Sleepiness at the wheel is an extremely underestimated problem,” says the Mannheim sleep physician Maritta Orth. It calls, among other things, to make future issues in driving tests for personal sleep patterns. Especially in fatigue and sleepiness during the day -., And especially among professional drivers

sleep researchers about 12,700 people from 19 European countries surveyed online about driver fatigue. From Germany to date flowed 759 interviews. This is an intermediate level at the beginning of October, the survey and the analysis run on.

trends are alarming

German trends are for the sleep specialist already clearly visible – and alarming. 42 percent drowsy drivers are not very high side? “This figure is high, but to be honest,” says Orth expert. You also can not totally surprising. Already at the end of 2012 was a representative survey of the German Road Safety Council to a third of motorists to have fallen ever walked into a micro sleep at the wheel. Almost one in five experienced a dangerous situation or built an accident.

seconds Sleep is a sudden, unnoticed nodding. “From a certain point of exhaustion can be nothing more to do,” says Orth sleep physician. “It is as if a curtain is falling down.” Therefore, it is a misconception to be able to keep you awake with coffee, loud music or fresh air. “The only remedy for sleepiness is sleep,” says Orth doctor.

drowsiness especially with heavy crash

The Federal Highway Research Institute goes so far assume that 10 to 20 percent of traffic accidents on Germany’s roads have to do with tiredness at the wheel. With 300,000 registered accidents in 2012 so that would be up to 60 000 It is striking that drowsiness especially with heavy crashes plays a role. The reason? “We overestimate,” says Orth.

Often it is not just one night of sleep deprivation, stress, shift work or time pressure, which leads to driver fatigue. Only ten percent of the population, according to the scientists affected by falling asleep and sleep – regardless of age. There are also about 90 other medical conditions associated with sleep. Among the best known among the apnea during the night of loud snoring with breathing exposes short. Follow this oxygen deficiency are fatigue and tiredness attacks a day.

apnea common in truck drivers

2004 a study showed that 16 percent of the truck drivers had an apnea in Germany – four times more likely than the average population. “This is shocking. Indeed you also transport people and dangerous,” says researcher Orth.

“driver fatigue is greatly underestimated,” says Sven Rademacher, Chairman of the German Road Safety Council. “A big problem is that valid data is missing.” Because of an accident fatigue will not be asked as basic as a rule. “Who likes to admit that his eyes are just fallen,” asks Rademacher. “This has immediate consequences for the accident even guilt.”

Similar consequences such as alcohol

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  • Driver fatigue can have similar effects as alcohol: The driver drives wavy lines, distances can be difficult to assess barriers and takes no longer true good. While there are already driver assistance systems, for example, grasp the steering behavior and a warning signal. “But who is only 20 kilometers away from the target, but the looks as well-meant invitation,” says Ulrich Chiellino, Lecturer of Psychology at the ADAC traffic. Sometimes a fatal mistake – because nodding attacks could neither control nor able to see before. It will already seriously thought of using smelly substances to move motorists to stop, reports Chiellino.

    Another approach

    German Sleep researchers have with the trade association of the tracks found. They developed a questionnaire that can diagnose sleep better with the working and operational medicine. There are treatments for many ailments. Since 2007, however, pathological sleepiness is also considered a reason for unfitness. Are people who fear for their jobs, with answers rather not lie? The probability is great. Because who builds an accident with a diagnosed sleep disorder, is ill. “That is not a trivial matter, but a criminal offense,” says expert Orth.


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