Drowsy driving is a legitimate problem in the United States. In fact, a 2005 report from the Sleep in America poll shows that around 60 percent of drivers have admitted to driving when they’ve felt drowsy in that year alone. Another 13 percent admitted to doing so at least once a month. Finally, four percent admitted to being involved in an accident or near miss because of driving when drowsy.
Drowsy driving is its own kind of epidemic. Around 100,000 crashes that are reported to police are a result of drivers getting behind the wheel when they’re too tired. Drowsiness and fatigue are massively under-reported when it comes to collisions, and there’s a good reason for that. How can you test for someone being tired, particularly if they’re injured or unconscious from an accident? It’s not easy to do.
Sleep-related crashes are most common for young men and women, adults who have kids, and for workers who have varying shifts. These individuals are more likely to have to drive when they’re too tired, making them more likely to cause an accident. The less people sleep, the more likely they are to cause an accident when they get behind the wheel. A lack of sleep can be as impairing as drinking alcohol in some cases.
Source: DrowsyDriving.org, “Facts and Stats,” accessed May 20, 2016