We all know that driving while texting or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a survey taken back in 2009 and 2010 by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) showing just how lethal drowsy driving can be. According to the survey, drowsy driving accounted for almost 730 fatal crashes and around 30,000 non-fatal crashes in 2009, and it shows that 4.2 percent of more than 147,000 respondents had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in a 30-day period before the survey was taken.

As frightening as that is, the survey was limited to just 19 states and the District of Columbia and did not include teen drivers under the age of 18, which means the number could be even higher. Back in November, we reported on a survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that indicated one in seven (around 14 percent) drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 admitted to falling asleep while driving compared to the overall average of 10 percent admitting to dozing off behind the wheel. The BRFSS survey showed that Oregon had the lowest percentage of drowsy drivers (2.5 percent) while Texas had the highest number (6.1 percent). The CDC points out that two major contributing factors to drowsy driving are snoring and getting less than six hours of sleep per day – both are symptoms of sleep apnea.

While accidents and fatalities as a result of drowsy driving are no laughing matter, we couldn't help but think of the Griswold family as they traveled to Walley World in National Lampoon's Vacation (pictured above). Visit Sleep Education or the CDC for more information on this study.


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  • 13 Comments
      sloturbo
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Family Truckster
        StephenT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sloturbo
        "You think you hate it now, just wait till you drive it". I got broke from trying to drive home drowsy in 1999 when I ran off the road and ended up in a grass field. Thankfully didn't hurt the car or myself. Just had to pull some weeds out of the springs. Never done it again since.
      mikoprivat
      • 1 Year Ago
      hey , the familiy on the photo is driving a toyota...so much excitment!!!
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Does anybody else only see raw HTML?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @IBx27
        Indeed we do. We're trying to fix what's broken, right now. Thanks for the head's up!
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is not a surprise Texas has the highest rate of drowsy driving; Texas, especially the western parts has a lot of flat, straight, and very monotonous roads. It would make for an interesting cost-benefit study to see if putting in some kinks & curves into those roads would be worthwhile safety-wise.
        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dreadcthulhu01
        ... or if such kinks & bends would end up being nothing more than places for drowsy drivers to go off the road.
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dreadcthulhu01
        While in NHTSA seminar, they advise to do this... already! Go Govt.
      Jobu
      • 1 Year Ago
      So next time someone asks you "What would YOU cut in our federal budget?" I offer you exhibit A. Is driving while drowsy a disease??? LOL. WTF? FML.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      As one who has done his fair share of long distance driving, I find that the best way to combat drowsy driving is a nice, big caffeinated beverage, like a coffee or a Big Gulp, and some good music on the radio, and even car watching. It works out quite well as the effects of the Diet Coke start to wear off, it's time to pull over and take a wiz... and replenish the fluids. The key to fighting "drowsy driving" is finding something else to do, just so long as it's not too distracting that is.
      M-M
      • 1 Year Ago
      Law enforcement is hard at work on how they can setup drowsy checkpoints. They are excited about the huge revenue potential here.
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @M-M
        "Whens the last time you had a nap sir?"
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 1 Year Ago
      My wife has contributed to this very much by crashing 4 times. Gotta love it.
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