While most people are aware of the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they fail to realize the dangers of fatigued driving. Sure, we’ve all felt sleepy behind the wheel at one point or another, often on the way to or from work. You likely still felt in control and awake, but that does not mean the risk disappears. Driving while tired, especially on long commutes or road travel, make roadways dangerous for everyone. This post will feature statistics from The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), in order to bring some awareness to the issue of drowsy driving.
Drowsy Driving, USA
Unfortunately, every year there are thousands of fatal car crashes through the US. A small percentage of those crashes and deaths are attributed to drowsy driving, about 2.4% on average. Yet, that small percentage has not gone down and has remained quite steady over the past decade. The chart below from the NHTSA displays the number of crashes and fatalities due to drowsy driving, from 2011-2015.
Aside from how many people have lost their life due to drowsy driving, the numbers for property damage and injury are alarming as well. As you may or may not know, the severity of an accident plays a large factor in penalties levied on the violator. Penalties include possible jail time, fines, license suspension, labeled a high-risk driver, and court-ordered Sr-22 insurance.
Don’t Be A Drowsy Driving Statistic
If You Feel You:
- Are blinky unusually often
- Have “heavy eyes”
- Can’t remember the last few miles
- Miss exits
- Swerve in/out of the lane
Then You Need To:
- Read road signs to keep brain and eyes active
- Pull over if you feel too fatigued
- Drink water, coffee, energy drink
- Take a quick nap in a safe location such as a light rest stop
If you are struggling to get your 8 hours of sleep, you may have a sleeping disorder. Seek medical consultation in order to improve sleeping habits and lower your risk of becoming a drowsy driving statistic