top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Waring

Are you going to crash your car?

It can be dangerous if you don’t treat your sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea are more than twice as likely to have a car accident than people without it.[1] That’s why it’s essential to treat your sleep apnea with CPAP. Keep yourself and anyone riding with you safe. Learn more about why this is true.

Photo by Michael Jin

Sleep apnea can make you sleepy


People with untreated sleep apnea may snore, gasp while sleeping, and have morning headaches. One of the signs of untreated sleep apnea is excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) or feeling very sleepy during the day when you should be awake.[2]


People who have untreated sleep apnea might not get quality sleep. They can feel sleepy during the day because their breathing pauses when they sleep. This can make them wake up often at night, making them tired and leading to EDS during the day.


Drowsy driving is drunk driving


Unfortunately, the EDS caused by untreated sleep apnea is also a significant factor in motor vehicle accidents. Studies show drivers suffering from EDS are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to accidents. According to a report by AAA in 2014, nearly one-third of motor vehicle crashes are caused by drowsy driving.[3]


Tired drivers can be just as dangerous as those who are drinking. Without enough sleep, reaction time slows down, making it harder to concentrate or follow safety guidelines. Fatigue can also make people less aware of what's happening around them, which can cause bad car crashes. After 24 hours of being awake, a driver can be just as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.10%, which is over the legal limit of 0.08%![4]

After 24 hours of being awake, a driver can be just as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.10%!

It is very important to take care of sleep apnea before driving. This is because it can help keep you and others safe by reducing the chance of an accident. CPAP is a treatment for sleep apnea that can help with EDS. This treatment enables you to breathe better and more consistently during the night. This can help you get more restful sleep, making you more awake and alert during the day.


References

  1. Léger D, Stepnowsky C. The economic and societal burden of excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Medicine Reviews 2020.

  2. Shapiro C et al. CPAP adherence: factors and perspectives. Springer 2022.

  3. Frost & Sullivan. Hidden health crisis costing America billions: Underdiagnosing and undertreating obstructive sleep apnea draining healthcare system. 2016

  4. Dawson D, Reid K. Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment. Nature. 1997.

Kommentare


bottom of page