New Research on Dangers of Drowsy Driving Serves as Major Wake Up Call

drowsy driving

One in Six Fatal Crashes Involve a Fatigued Driver

Whether on a lengthy road trip or riding home from work, many drivers facing drooping eyelids adopt the "I'm tired, but I can make it" mentality. A new report says they may be risking their lives by driving while drowsy.

The AAA Foundation's 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index recently found drowsy driving to be a relatively common practice among motorists, and concluded that it can have some pretty eye-opening consequences.

According to the survey of over 2,000 drivers, 28.3 percent of those polled admitted they drove despite being so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open. More so, 41 percent of those polled admitted they had "fallen asleep or nodded off" at least once behind the wheel. A separate analysis estimates that roughly one in six deadly crashes involve a driver who is drowsy.

How can you prevent yourself from drowsy driving?

  • Get enough shut eye—begin any long road trip by getting at least seven hours of sleep the night before.
  • Take a break—schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles.
  • Have a co-pilot—try to have another person ride with you to share the driving responsibilities.
  • Be aware of danger signs—if you have trouble keeping your eyes open or are drifting out of your lane, stop for a rest or a quick nap.
  • Move your body—take a short exercise break to become more alert.
  • Drink caffeine—for an extra boost, grab a caffeinated beverage.
Source: “Everyone is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel.” AAA Motorist. January 2014.