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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

  • A recent survey showed that 4.2 percent of drivers reported having fallen asleep while driving at least one time in the previous 30 days.2

  • 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.3
  • Teens need to log a little more than nine hours of sleep per night to achieve the optimal level of daytime alertness needed to eliminate the risk of drowsy driving.3

  • 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.3

  • At least 5 percent of adults (ages 18 to 44) admit to falling asleep at the wheel.4

  • In addition to direct impairments, driving while drowsy can also increase the existing risks of distracted driving and can put all road users at risk, including child passengers. 5



  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Report on Drowsy Driving. Accessed September 27, 2015.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Drowsy Driving -- 19 states and the District of Columbia, 2009-2010. MMWR Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Jan 4:61 (51-52):1033-7.
  3. National Sleep Foundation. Healthy Sleep Project. 2015.Available at: Accessed April 9, 2015.
  4. 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.
  5. Macy ML, Carter PM, Bingham CR, Cunningham RM, Freed GL. Potential distractions and unsafe driving behaviors among drivers of 1- to 12-year-old children. Acad Pediatr. 2014 May-Jun; 14(3):279-86.
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