The statistics speak volumes:
- Approximately one in every six fatal crashes—or 16.5 percent—in the US involves a drowsy driver.
- Ten percent of drivers surveyed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety admitted to falling asleep while driving their vehicle during the past 12 months.
- At least one-quarter of respondents said that they got behind the wheel during the previous four weeks even though it had been hard to keep their eyes open.
- And paradoxically, when asked how acceptable driving while finding it difficult to keep your eyes open was, a whopping 85 percent said it was unacceptable.
Translation: we don’t walk our talk. People who see drowsy driving as unacceptable have done it themselves.
The authors of this latest study explain that some drivers may not understand the impact not getting enough sleep can have on an your alertness, reflexes, and degree of fatigue.
I couldn’t agree more. Drunk driving is such a strong societal taboo, and yet drowsy driving may arguably be more prevalent—and equally as dangerous. Similar to the effects of alcohol and other drugs, sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment. Add that to an existing sleep disorder and you’re looking at a recipe for very serious disaster and harm to yourself and others. Consider these other stats: