November 5 to 11, 2007 is the first annual Drowsy Driving Prevention Week™,
a national public awareness campaign to save lives and advocate preventative
measures at a state level (Drowsy Driving Prevention).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics conservatively
show that 100,000 drowsy driving crashes are reported each year, killing
more than 1,500 Americans and injuring another 71,000.
"It is completely possible that an untreated sleep disorder played a key
role in causing the recent 31-vehicle crash near Los Angeles," says Jonathan
Greenburg, MD, of Artistic Smiles Family Dentistry & Orthodontics, Valencia,
Calif. "Nobody will ever know, but it brings awareness to the fact that
untreated sleep disorders can be potentially deadly."
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 2 out of 5, or more than 32
million people, say they have actually fallen asleep at the wheel within the
past year.
Patients with undiagnosed sleep apnea are among the highest at-risk groups
for drowsy driving. Despite the fact that most insurance carriers and
Medicare cover the cost for diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, 80% to
90 % of individuals remain undiagnosed largely because people are unaware
there is a problem.
"What many people believe is simple snoring can actually be a serious danger
signal. Corrective treatment can stop the damage while restoring a person’s
natural alertness, energy, and healthy sleep patterns," says Greenburg.
Greenburg will host a live telecast Wednesday, November 7, providing
information on sleep apnea and its prevention at
More information about drowsy driving prevention week can be found at