Sleep deprivation is a fact of life for every new mother. However, those sleepless nights could translate into the danger of accidents when a mother is driving a car. According to a new study, many new mothers admit that they feel drowsy while driving, and sometimes even make driving errors, as a result of their sleepiness.
The study was conducted in Australia, and researchers were specifically trying to understand how drowsiness or sleepiness affects new mothers in the first six months following the birth of the child. Contrary to popular belief, sleep deprivation after a baby is born, does not exist to just a few weeks after birth. Many mothers continue to suffer from symptoms of sleep deprivation for months after the baby is born.
In fact, there has been very little research conducted into why postpartum sleep deprivation affects different women in different ways. For instance, some women may feel sleepy just a few weeks after the child is born, while others may sleep relatively well in the first few weeks after the baby is born, but may suffer symptoms of sleep deprivation a few months down the line.
In a related finding, a survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide, a child safety advocacy group, revealed that 78% of mothers with children under 2 admit to talking on a cell phone while driving. While not nearly as bad as texting while driving, using a hand held phone while driving creates a significant amount of cognitive distraction which results in an increased crash risk. Incidentally, the same survey showed that 28% of new moms says they also text and check their email while driving.
“These reports point out that the dangerous driving crisis on America’s roadways is not isolated to teen drivers, says Kansas City Crash lawyer, Douglas Horn. Horn added that parents are adopting dangerous driving habits in order to keep up with family and work-related responsibilities. In response to this rising driving threat, Horn started Drive By Example; a Missouri based driver safety organization that influences all drivers, including adults, to protect themselves and their passengers by driving alert, buckled, and cautious.
For more information, visit drivebyexample.com.