Drowsy Driving

During the 100 Deadliest Days, Sleep Is Essential to Your Safety

During the summer months, road trips become a key part of many Utahns’ vacation plans. Some families try to make the most of their vacation time by skipping sleep and driving instead. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 40,000 injuries and more than 56,000 crashes each year in the US. In 2009, 97 percent of adult Utah motorists admitted that driving while severely drowsy is a major threat. In addition, 44 percent say they have fallen asleep or nodded off for even a moment while driving, according to a Utah Department of Public Safety poll.

This summer, make sure you and your family stay as safe as possible when traveling on the road. Get plenty of rest and stay alert when behind the wheel.

Avoid a Drowsy Crash This Summer

Increased time behind the wheel, especially when driving through the night or after a long day of physically exhausting activity in the sun, can increase chances of getting in a drowsy driving crash. As you plan your summer activities, you must factor in ways you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the 100 Deadliest Days. 

DROWSY DRIVING WARNING SIGNS INCLUDE:

  • 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 Driving Prevention

DRIVERS: Feeling tired means your body has already started to fall asleep. When feeling tired behind the wheel: pull over to a safe spot and nap, get out of the car to stretch or switch drivers. If that doesn’t work, find a safe place to sleep.

PASSENGERS: Stay awake with your driver to help the driver identify and correct signs of drowsiness before it’s too late.

EXTRA SAFETY TIP: Even if you’re tired and want to rest, keep your seat belt on and buckled properly. You never know when you might be involved in a crash. Sleeping passengers should still be safely buckled passengers. Madeline’s story is a powerful reminder of that.