As a motorist, you have a much higher chance of sharing the road with a drowsy driver than you know. According to a new report on drowsy driving by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 24 American adults admits that they recently dozed off at the wheel while driving.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that those numbers are probably higher, because many incidents of drowsy driving go unreported. Many people don’t believe that when they nod off for just a second or two, it constitutes drowsy driving. What that means is that the numbers of people dozing off at the wheel is much higher than any federal body can estimate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed approximately 147,000 adults in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and the surveys were conducted in 2009 and 2010. Men were much more likely to report falling asleep at the wheel. People between the age of 25 and 30 were also more likely to admit that they fell asleep at the wheel. Persons who admitted getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night seemed to be at a much higher risk of falling asleep at the wheel, which is not much of a surprise. What is interesting is that Texans are at a much higher risk of drowsy driving than the rest of the country.
None of these findings should be surprising to any Los Angeles car accident attorney, who knows that drowsy driving is one of the most underestimated highway safety issues in this country. Stress, fatigue and excessive work are far too common, and sleep deprivation is widespread in the American population, creating conditions that are ripe for drowsy driving.