Important Information that May Save Your Life
Unfortunately, Drowsy Driving is a problem which does not get the same amount of attention as driving while impaired, and it’s our sincere hope that our website will help raise awareness of this serious problem. Take a few minutes to read the helpful information below — it could help save your life, and the lives of your loved ones.
Did You Know?
- An estimated 328,000 crashes each year involve a drowsy driver.
- Men have twice as many Drowsy Driving crashes as women.
- More than half of Drowsy Driving crashes involve drivers drifting out of their lanes.
- With only 5 to 6 hours of sleep, crash risk increases by 1.9 times compared to 7 hours of sleep.
Who's at Risk for Drowsy Driving?
The groups below are most at risk for Drowsy Driving. Remember, if you aren’t in one of these groups, it doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk. If you ever feel drowsy at the wheel, pull over and get some rest — your life could depend on it.
- Young adults
- Shift workers
- Truckers or people driving extended distances/long periods of time
- Frequent travelers (jet lag)
- People sensitive to daylight savings time
- People with sleep disorders
Identifying Drowsy Driving
Knowing the signs of Drowsy Driving could save your life or the life of a loved one. Look for these signs:
- Heavy eyelids, rubbing eyes, or prolonged blinking
- Head bobbing or nodding off
- Weaving, drifting out of your lane, hitting rumble strips
- Difficulty remembering the last couple miles driven
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Missing stop signs or other street signs
Reduce Sleepiness and Prevent Drowsy Driving
There are many things you can to do help prevent Drowsy Driving:
- Obtain the recommended amount of sleep per night. Learn more: Click here.
- Practice good sleep habits. Learn more: Click here.
- Read medication labels for side effects and avoid driving when using ones that can make you sleepy.
- If you are constantly sleepy, talk to your doctor, as this can be a sign of a sleep disorder or find a sleep center near you.
What to do if You are Driving and Feel Drowsy
Below are some strategies to help you combat Drowsy Driving. If any or all of these ideas do not help, stop driving as soon as possible and find a place to sleep for an extended period of time.
- Pull over to a safe location and rest for an extended period of time
- Take a nap to refresh yourself*
- Take a walk and stretch*
- Have a cup of coffee or tea*
* These may provide a short period of increased awareness, but they are not a substitute for rest. They should only be used to help you find a safe place to pull over and sleep for an extended period of time.
The following links provide additional information on Drowsy Driving and improving sleep habits:
- New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee’s discussion on Drowsy Driving: Click here.
- New York State Department of Health Drowsy Driving page: Click here.
- The National Road Safety Foundation: Click here.
- Acute Sleep Deprivation and Crash Risk (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety): Click here.
- National Highway and Transportation Administration’s Drowsy Driving Information: Click here.
- Centers for Disease Control, Asleep at the Wheel: Click here.
- Find a sleep center near you: Click here.
Information on this page compiled from the National Sleep Foundation, National Institute for Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Are You at Risk for Driving Drowsy?
It’s estimated that over 6000 deaths per year are due to driving drowsy — that’s 500 deaths per month. Take our quiz and find out if you are at risk. 6 lucky respondents will receive a free My Pillow®!