According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA’s estimate of traffic-related crashes and injuries rely police and hospital reports determine the incidence of drowsy-driving crashes 91,000, where 50,000 people were injured and nearly 800 deaths
Crashes and Fatalities
Sleepiness can result in crashes any time of the day or night, but three factors are most commonly associated with drowsy-driving crashes.
Occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. At both times of the day, people experience dips in their circadian rhythm—the human body’s internal clock that regulates sleep;
Often involve only a single driver (and no passengers) running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking; and Frequently occur on rural roads and highways.
Falling asleep at the wheel is preventable.
Drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They might help you feel more alert, but the effects last only a short time, and you might not be as alert as you think you are. If you drink coffee and are seriously sleep-deprived, you still may have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for four or five seconds. This means that at 55 miles per hour, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards down the road while asleep. That’s plenty of time to cause a crash.
If you start to get sleepy while you’re driving, drink one to two cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted, designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness in scientific studies, but only for short time periods.
Why Sleep Is Good for You
Not only does the quantity of your sleep matter, but also the quality is important as well.
How well rested you are and how well you function the next day depend on your total sleep time and how
much of the various stages of sleep you get each night.
How can you Get a Good Night’s Sleep?
Like eating and being physically active, getting a good night’s sleep is vital to your well-being.
Here are a few tips to help you:
• Stick to a sleep schedule—Go to bed and wake
up at the same time every day.
• Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
• Don’t exercise too late in the day.
• Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
• Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
• Don’t take a nap after 3 p.m.
• Relax before bed—for example, take a hot bath.
• Create a good sleeping environment. Get rid
of distractions such as noises, bright lights, an
uncomfortable bed, or a TV or computer in
• See a doctor if you have continued trouble