Drowsy Driving Facts & Tips
Drowsy driving crashes are obviously under reported. In Nebraska from 2015 to 2019, a total of 1,577 fatigued/asleep crashes were reported of which 11 were fatal and 669 involved injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in 2017, over 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to over 41,000 injuries and 795 deaths.
Signs of Driver Fatigue
- Inability to focus eyes and keeping head up, eyelids feel heavy
- Yawning and rubbing eyes
- Wandering and disconnected thoughts
- Drifting within the driving lane, missing signs or exits
- Turning up radio and/or rolling window down
- Slower reaction time
Drowsy Drivers at Risk
- Business travelers who frequently cross time zones
- Commercial drivers who drive many miles and drive at night
- Young drivers, especially males 16-25 of age
- Shift workers, working nights or rotating shifts or working more than one job
- Individuals with untreated sleep disorders
Recommendations to Help Prevent Driver Fatigue
- Get regular exercise and healthy balanced diet
- Aim for seven or eight hours of sleep
- Avoid driving alone when possible
- Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles
- Avoid alcohol and medication that may impair
- Keep driver’s area cool and ventilated
- If necessary, pull over and take a power nap no longer than 15 – 20 minutes
- They often occur late at night, in the early morning and mid-afternoon.
- They are likely to result in serious injury or death.
- Crashes usually involve a single vehicle leaving the roadway.
- Crashes occur on high speed roadways.
- Crashes often involve a driver traveling alone.
- There is no evidence of braking.
- Asleep At The Wheel – A National Compendium of Efforts To Eliminate Drowsy Driving – NHTSA
- Drowsy Driving, NHTSA
- Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do
- Drowsy Driving, The National Road Safety Foundation, Almost Home (four compelling true stories pain the drowsy driving profile)
- Drowsy Driving, CDC