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Sleep Apnea treatment may prevent drowsy driving

Drowsy driving is a known cause of car accidents in Ohio. However, some still get behind the wheel, despite being too tired to drive. And, for the 25 million adults that suffer from Sleep Apnea, a good night's sleep is the stuff of dreams.

When a person has Sleep Apnea, his or her upper airway collapses as they sleep, causing poor sleep. This makes the person feel tired during the day. Nevertheless, some will still insist on driving.

However, a new study by the Cleveland Clinic demonstrated that if a person utilizes a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine as they sleep, it can reduce drowsiness while driving. The study analyzed questionnaires of almost 2,000 individuals currently suffering from Sleep Apnea. They then assessed whether a person drove while drowsy before using a CPAP machine, and whether they drove while drowsy after using a CPAP machine.

CPAP machines provide an uptick in air pressure in the user's throat. This increases the amount of quality sleep. The results of the study revealed that there was notable improvement in both crashes and near-miss crashes when a person with sleep apnea utilized a CPAP machine.

This research is good news as drowsy driving is a public safety issue. Any improvement may lead to fewer crashes, which could save lives. But, despite this research, not every driver with Sleep Apnea uses a CPAP machine. And, even people who do not have Sleep Apnea will drive when too tired.

As such, those who have been injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver may want to take the steps necessary to pursue legal action. Victims have options.

Source: KDRV, "Study: Common Sleep Apnea Treatment Reduces Drowsy Driving," June 6, 2017

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