Approximately 60 percent of adult drivers polled in 2005 reported that they drove while drowsy. In 2010, a poll showed that 4 percent of adults admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in the last 30 days. A study in 2016 showed that drivers become more dangerous with each hour of sleep they lose, becoming just as deadly as a drunk driver when they miss enough sleep.
As you can see, drowsy driving is an issue that has impacted America for a long time. People are warned of the dangers of being too tired behind the wheel, but it’s hard to drive home the significance of polls. Statistics have shown that drivers who get only five or six hours of sleep are two times more likely to crash than drivers who sleep at least seven hours a night; that’s something people need to stop ignoring.
In 2015, 35,092 people died in fatal crashes around the United States. Around 20 percent of those crashes involved drowsy drivers.
What can you do to prevent drowsy driving? The primary way to prevent driving while drowsy is to sleep more. If you do that, you reduce your risk of an accident significantly.
Another thing you can do is to avoid taking medications that make you tired before you get behind the wheel. If you can wait until the side effects wear off, you and everyone around you will be safer.
Drowsy driving doesn’t have to happen. Take your time, get enough sleep and be prepared to pull over if you’re too tired to drive. Our site has more on what to do if you’re struck by a drowsy driver.