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



Crash Characteristics

  • 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.