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Drowsy Driving/Fatigue

General Statistics

  • Teen drivers who sleep less than 8 hours nightly are one-third more likely to crash than those who sleep 8 or more hours nightly.1
  • Those who get less sleep than average experience increased daytime sleepiness, depressive mood, high levels of risk-taking behaviors, and lower grades.2
  • Lack of sleep reduces a person's ability to process information, sustain attention, have accurate motor control, and react normally. All are crucial driving skills.
  • Daily sleep is reduced by about 40 to 50 minutes from ages 13 to 19. This is caused by gradually later bedtimes but more or less stable awakening times.
  • The majority of fatigue-related crashes are caused by drivers under age 25.3
  • Being awake for 18 hours is similar to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08, which is legally drunk.4
  • At least 5 percent of adults (ages 18 to 44) admit to falling asleep at the wheel.5 
  • In 2009, an estimated 730 fatal crashes involved drowsy driving.5
  • In 2009, over 30,000 crashes involved drowsy driving.5



  1. Hutchens L, et al. Teen Driver Crash Risk and Associations with Smoking and Drowsy Driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention. May 2008.
  2. National Sleep Foundation. Summary of Findings for the 2006 Sleep in America Poll. Available at: Accessed April 7, 2010.
  3. Pack AI, Pack AM, Rodgman E, Cucchiara A, Dinges DF, Schwab CW. Characteristics of crashes attributed to the driver having fallen asleep. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 1995; 27(6):769-775.
  4. National Sleep Foundation. Detection and Prevention: Drowsy driving. Retrieved July 31, 2009. Available at: Accessed April 7, 2010.
  5. Drowsy Driving -- 19 States and the District of Columbia -- 2009-2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. January 14, 2013.
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