Do you have a passion for improving transportation safety through healthy sleep? Sleep disease and unhealthy sleep habits are wreaking havoc on U.S. roadways; understanding our crucial role in the battle against drowsy driving – driving while sleep deprived – the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has dedicated time and resources to help you protect your patients both inside the clinic and in the driver’s seat.

Making another investment into sleep safety, AASM staff and Dr. Michael Berneking, Chair of the AASM’s Sleep and Transportation Safety Awareness Task Force, traveled to Long Beach, California, to attend Lifesavers 2016 – a national conference on highway safety priorities.

Lifesavers is the largest gathering of highway safety professionals and interest groups in the United States. One of many exhibitors at the conference, the AASM booth was the sole drowsy driving-focused presence at the meeting, which hosted thousands of attendees from April 3-5. Dr. Berneking and Academy staff representatives were thrilled to serve as educational resources for the many stakeholders and exhibitors in attendance, and they will look to cultivate many budding, mutually beneficial relationships in the coming months.

Although the interest in drowsy driving has grown significantly in recent years, driver fatigue continues to be a pervasive threat to American motorists on highways and residential roads. Drowsy driving is the root cause of 21% of all fatal car accidents and 328,000 total accidents each year. In fact, a driver who has gone 18 hours without sleep is equally as dangerous as a driver with a .08 blood alcohol content—the legal alcohol limit.

There is no substitute for healthy, restorative sleep, and board-certified sleep medicine physicians must take the wheel as we tackle the nation’s drowsy driving epidemic. Examine the AASM’s drowsy driving resources at Evolve Sleep and educate your patients on the risks of driving while sleep-deprived.