Utah Department of Public Safety

Highway Safety - Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving

DROWSY DRIVING

THE SILENT KILLER

Since 2007, in Utah there is an average of 1,085 crashes and 23 deaths each year from drowsy driving.
These figures may only be the tip of the iceberg, since it is currently difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.

2012 UTAH DROWSY DRIVING FACTS

  • Young drivers age 25 or under are involved in nearly half (43.3%) of drowsy driving crashes.
  • Male drivers were 2.1 times more likely to be in drowsy driver crashes.
  • The highest number of drowsy driver crashes occurred during the hours of 6:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m.
  • May, July, and June had the highest number of drowsy driving crashes.
  • Emery, Millard, and Grand Counties had the highest percent of crashes involving drowsy drivers.
  • Crashes in rural counties in Utah were 2.7 times more likely to involve drowsy driving than crashes in urban counties.
  • For a drowsy driving fact sheet, click here.

WARNING SIGNS

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy eyelids;
  • Daydreaming or wandering thoughts;
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven;
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes;
  • Trouble keeping your head up;
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip;
  • Feeling restless and irritable.

DROWSY CAB DRIVER VIDEO

 

Not only is the cab driver in this video falling asleep, but he's not wearing his seat belt. It's a vivid demonstration of how dangerous both drowsy driving and not buckling up can be.

 

 

Drowsy Driving Crashes in Utah in 2011 by Month

 

SPECIFIC AT-RISK GROUPS

  • Young people, especially males under age 26;
  • Shift workers. Working the night shift increases your risk by nearly 6 times;
  • Commercial drivers. At least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue;
  • Business travelers who spend many hours driving or may be jet lagged;
  • People with undiagnosed or untreated disorders. People with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have up to seven times increased risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

HOW CAN YOU PREVENT DROWSY DRIVING?

Here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation (visit Drowsydriving.org for more information):

 

Before hitting the road

  • Get adequate sleep—most adults need 7-9 hours to maintain proper alertness during the day
  • Schedule proper breaks—about every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips
  • Arrange for a travel companion—someone to talk with and share the driving
  • Avoid alcohol and sedating medications—check your labels or ask your doctor

For more information, please contact

Robyn LaLumia

801-573-2842

rlalumia@utah.gov

 

[Last Update - Wednesday, 16-Apr-2014 16:10:11 MDT]