Drowsy Driving: Deaths & Injuries

Submitted By Jody Van Cooney

How often have you noticed a drowsy driver on the road? According to NHTSA, between 2011 and 2015, total fatal crashes were 153,297 with 2.4 percent due to drowsy driving and 8, 118, 000 involved injuries with 2.0 percent due to drowsy driving.

Drowsy driver crashes can occur virtually any time—late at night, early pre-dawn hours, or mid-afternoon. Drowsiness leads to impaired attention, slow down mental processing, poor judgment, and poor decision making.

Warning signs of drowsy driving include difficulty remembering the past few miles driven, yawning or blinking frequently, missing an exit, and hitting the rumble strip of the side of the road or center lane.

Teens, ages 13-18, need 8-10 hours of sleep every day; adults need 7-8 hours. Drowsy driving can be caused by lack of sleep, a baby being up all night, late night shift work, staying out with friends, sleep apnea, and health issues. Drivers, age 24 and younger, are nearly twice as likely to be drowsy or fall asleep at the time they have a crash. People sleeping less than five hours increase their risk four to five times more than those who get more than five hours.

The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition serves as a collaborative effort or partnership whose function is to facilitate partners’ work and act as a catalyst for injury prevention initiatives. Its mission is to prevent injury, disability, and death through advocacy, education, legislation, and partnerships.

Additional information about the Injury Prevention Coalition or the grant application may contact Brian Raimondo at ipcleecounty@gmail.com or 239-330-2240.

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