Nearly One-Third Admit to Drowsy Driving in the Past Month

According to a new survey released by the AAA Foundation, nearly all of us (96 percent)  agree that drowsy driving is unacceptable.  However, the survey also found that nearly one-third of us (32 percent) admit to driving while drowsy in the past month.

This week is Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, and in recognition the AAA released their annual safety culture survey.  The results are startling to say the least.  The AAA and its partner, The Sleep Foundation, say there appears to be a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude when it comes to drowsy driving.  While almost no one says it’s the right thing to do, the survey indicates that two out of every five drivers (41 percent) admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point, with one in 10 saying they have done so in the past year.

The AAA offers the following warning signs that you’re too tired to sleep:

  • Having difficulty keeping your eyes open and focused
  • Difficulty keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating, and/or hitting rumble strips
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing traffic signs or driving past your intended exit
  • Yawning repeatedly and rubbing your eyes
  • Feeling irritable or restless

The AAA gives these tips to help you stay alert behind the wheel:

  • Get plenty of sleep (at least seven hours) the night before a long trip
  • Stop driving if you become sleepy.  Individuals who are very sleepy to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk
  • Travel at times when you are normally awake, and stay overnight rather than driving straight through
  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage. Since it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, find a safe place to take a 20‐30 minute nap while you’re waiting for the caffeine to take effect
  • Travel with an awake passenger