Drowsy Driving Awareness

Drowsy Driving Facts

  • Drowsy driving is a factor in more than 6,400 fatal crashes a year—about 21% of all fatal crashes
  • Sleepiness can impair driving abilities as much or more than driving while drunk.
  • Studies of medical staff show much higher risks for being in car crashes and near-crashes after extended work shifts compared with after normal shifts.

  • Yawning or trouble keeping eyes open
  • Nodding off or trouble keeping your head up
  • Forgetting the most recent miles traveled
  • Missing your exit
  • Trouble maintaining your speed
  • Drifting out of your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip

Only half of drivers in one study of sleep-related crashes reported
they felt drowsy prior to their crash. Stutts, 1999.

  • Ages 16-24  (80% more likely to be in drowsy driving crash)
  • Males  (60% more likely to be in a drowsy driving crash)
  • Shift workers
  • Those with untreated sleep disorders, and those who snore.
  • Those using sedating medicines
  • Those driving long, high speed or rural highways, especially at night
  • shift work
  • medications
  • drinking alcohol
  • untreated sleep disorders
  • cumulative sleep debt
  • Call for a taxi/ride share service or ride with a co-worker
  • Carpool with  others and talk to them
  • Drink a caffeinated  beverage at least 20 minutes prior to driving
  • Pull over somewhere safe and take a 20 minute nap
    Note:  opening car windows,turning on A/C, and listening to loud music have not been found to be reliably helpful!
  • Arrange your work and home schedule to encourage 7+ hours of sleep per night
  • Arrange a nap option and location at work for during long/overnight shifts
  • Plan to use public transportation or ride services when you expect to be short on sleep
  • Take and use vacation days and catch up on your sleep
  • Avoid using depressant-type of medications or alcohol prior to any driving
  • Get checked by a professional sleep specialist if you think you have a sleep disorder affecting the quality or quantity of your sleep

For printable version of Drowsy Driving Awareness information, click here.

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