Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

The California State Transportation Agency, in addition to the California Highway Patrol and the Office of Traffic Safety, are participating in a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

• Driver fatigue results in about 100,000 police-reported crashes each year.
• It’s estimated that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths each year.
• An estimated 71,000 injuries are also associated with crashes involving drowsy drivers.
• Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years old are most likely to drive drowsy.
• Most drowsy driving crashes and near misses occurring between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m.

It’s important to remember that drowsy driving statistics are thought to be greatly under-reported. The National Sleep Foundation’s DrowsyDriving.org website has a variety of facts and statistics regarding driver fatigue and drowsy driving.

Who is at Risk for Drowsy Driving?

• Sleep-deprived drivers
• Shift workers who work at night or on extended shifts
• Commercial drivers
• People who are on certain types of medications
• People who have untreated sleep disorders like sleep apnea

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons. Not only can drowsy driving lead to falling asleep behind the wheel, it greatly diminishes a driver’s ability to safely navigate the road. Driving when drowsy can impair a driver’s judgment, slow down reaction times and negatively affect a driver’s attention.

When Should You Pull Over and Rest?

• Difficulty focusing on the road
• Blinking or yawning frequently
• Missing exits or turns
• Driving over rumble strips
• Inability to remember previous miles driven
• Drifting in and out of your lane
• Trouble keeping your head up
• Daydreaming

The National Institute of Health recommends adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a day. Drowsy driving isn’t something to leave to chance. Rolling down the window and turning up the radio aren’t effective ways to stay awake and alert. If you’re fatigued, tired or drowsy, pull over and rest. Even drivers who somehow manage to stay awake are likely to have diminished reaction times and impaired judgment.

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