New statistics show drowsy driving causes more than 5,500 traffic deaths a year and is a factor in 17% of all fatal crashes. On top of that, many of the crashes are work-related.
The research comes from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and includes interviews with 2,000 adults earlier this year. It coincides with the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Drowsy Driving Prevention Week (DDPW), Nov. 8-14.
Previous analysis found it was a factor between 2-4% of the time.
Among the personal stories from the interviews is that of Alexandra Wales, a 32-year-old regional sales manager who routinely drives long distances for work.
“I’ll fly and then get into a car, sometimes for several hours, sometimes late at night or unfamiliar with my surroundings,” said Wales. “There have been many times when I can’t see straight anymore.”
To avoid drowsy driving, AAA recommends:
- getting plenty of sleep (at least six hours) the night before a long trip
- scheduling a break every two hours or 100 miles
- traveling at times when you are normally awake, and
- stopping if you become sleepy.
Want to address drowsy driving at a safety meeting? The NSF has a DDPW toolkit that includes many video clips with victims sharing their personal stories.
How do you address drowsy driving at your workplace? Let us know in the Comments Box below.