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Could the Problem of Drowsy Driving Deaths Be Worse Than We Thought?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) warned us about this. The NSF clearly states on its website that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) estimate of 100,000 fatigue-related crashes each year is too low. In fact, the NSF claims that it is likely “just the tip of the iceberg” because of:

  • Difficulty measuring sleepiness.
  • Differences in state reporting requirements for drowsy driving accidents.
  • The unreliability of drivers self-reporting how tired they were while driving prior to the crash.

Now, there is a study that may look at more of the NSF’s iceberg.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Has Released New Information About Drowsy Driving

In November 2014, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report on drowsy driving accidents from 2009-2013. The report updates a previous study on the topic that covered the years 1999-2008. The information indicates that 21 percent of fatal car accidents—more than one in five—occurs because of drowsy drivers. That means that approximately 6,400 fatal car accidents a year, or 17 fatal car crashes a day, occur because of a tired driver. This is significantly more than the government’s official estimate, which claims that drowsy drivers cause just 2.5 percent of fatal car crashes in this country.

Now, the Question Is How to Melt the Iceberg

The problem of drowsy driving is not inevitable. While we may not be able to eliminate every tired driver from the road, there are steps that we can take to raise awareness about the risk, to decrease the number of tired drivers on the road, and to prevent tragedies. We hope that you will be part of the solution. Please share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter to help raise awareness about the danger and to prevent future accidents.


Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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