5 Health Risks of Too Little Sleep

Traffic Safety

Sleepless nights breed decreased reaction times-making driving (among other things) dangerous. A surprising National Sleep Foundation survey indicates that nearly 100 million sleepy Americans hop into vehicles each day. And each year, more than 100,000 motor vehicle crashes resulting in 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries are directly linked to drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. The US Congress is considering a bill that may put a stop to drowsy drivers. "Someone who gets behind the wheel drowsy, to me, carries the same risk as someone who gets behind the wheel drunk and should face the same criminal consequences," says US Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), sponsor of "Maggie's Law" (HR968). The bill, which is named in memory of Maggie McDonnell, a college student who was killed by a sleep-deprived truck driver, would create traffic safety programs to be aimed at drowsy drivers.