While it can be difficult to actually determine the true number of drivers who are responsible for accidents while falling asleep at the wheel or due to fatigue, the statistics which have been collected are quite shocking. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 1550 fatalities, 71,000 injuries, and 100,000 collisions are due to driver fatigue, each year. However, these numbers may actually be even higher, which puts drowsy driving right up there with driving under the influence – 18 hours without sleep can be compared to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.05%, as the effects of drowsy driving imitate that of an impaired driver under the influence. And after 24 hours, its like a BAC of 0.10%, which exceeds the legal limit of 0.08%.
There are many societal and personal factors that can contribute to the act of drowsy driving: sleepless nights in the early years of parenting, late-night and third-shift workers, job stress, and long commutes, just to name a few, besides the obvious situation of long distance travel.
But the stats are enough to make this an area of concern for those who share the roadways with any number of drivers who may be sleep challenged.
Some of the main areas of concern when it comes to driver fatigue are:
- Poor Judgement
- Inability to Focus
- Delayed Reaction Times
- Inability to Judge Speed or Distance
- Loss of Control of Vehicle – Falling Asleep!
It’s amazing to learn of some of the other stats concerning drowsy driving:
- 1 in 25 drivers admits they have fallen asleep behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. (CDC)
- 47% of drivers that fell asleep at the wheel were traveling on the road for 1 hour or less. (NHTSA)
- Drowsy driver accidents usually involve a single passenger running off the road, And this usually occurs between the hours of Midnight and 6am, or late in the afternoon when the body regulates sleep.(NHTSA)
- 27% of drivers admit to being so tired they couldn’t keep their eyes open while on the road. (AAA)
- Drowsy driver accidents usually occur on highways or rural roads. (NHTSA)
Those that are more susceptible to drowsy driving are seniors who tend to become involved in accidents that occur in the afternoon, teenagers and young men between the ages of 20-30, who may fall asleep while driving late at night, with accidents occurring between the hours of 11pm and 8am.
Here at Ticket Dismissers, we hope your time spent on the roadways will always be enjoyable so remember to stay alert behind the wheel and be mindful of other drivers who may not be so well rested.