Highway Safety Menu

Drowsy Driving Awareness Week

Sleep smart, drive smart


The third full week in August has been designated as Drowsy Driving Awareness Week in Utah, so we’ll be sharing information about the dangers of drowsy driving and how everyone can help prevent episodes of it.

To get things started, here’s a brief who, what, where, when, why and how.


Get detailed data on drowsy driving in Utah in our crash report here: Drowsy Drivers


Younger and older drivers are most commonly involved in drowsy driving crashes in Utah.



Driving while you’re sleepy.

You might not realize it, but it has similar effects to driving drunk.

Don’t endanger yourself, your passengers or others on the road. If you feel sleepy, get off the road.

a driver that gets two fewer hours of sleep in a single day may mimic someone who has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of 0.05%




Higher percent of crashes in rural areas.

Could indicate road trips – longer drives.

People trying to just drive through to their final destination.


Drowsy driving crashes occur year round, but more during summer months.

Again, could indicate long road trips.


We aren’t getting enough sleep and that’s having negative effects on our lives – including our driving.

WATCH: a story “I fell asleep at the wheel, and it resulted in the death of my sister Maddie”


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1/3 of U.S. adults report sleeping less than 7 hours a day – the optimal time needed for good health and well being (Liu et al., 2016). That means that nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived people are in the workplace, at school and on the road.


Recognize the signs – in yourself or, if you’re a passenger, in the driver.

Don’t hesitate to get involved – recommend stopping for a break or offering to drive if you’re awake and alert.

Help the driver recognize that he/she is tired and that drowsy driving is dangerous.

➤ Slower reaction times ➤ Impaired judgment ➤ Increased levels of risk taking ➤ More frequent blinking/eye closure ➤ De cits in cognitive performance ➤ Memory impairment Attention failure Loss of visual awareness

Before you hit the road – follow these steps to help avoid drowsy driving:

* Get enough sleep - most adults need 7-9 hours, teens need 8.5-9.5 to maintain proper alertness during the day * Schedule proper breaks, about every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips * Arrange for a travel companion - someone to talk with and share the driving * Avoid alcohol or sedating medications - check your labels or ask your doctor

On the road – if you get sleepy, follow these tips to help keep you safe:

* Have caffeine & find a safe place to rest while waiting the 30 minutes or so for it to take effect. * Take a break every 2 hours or 100 miles * Take a nap - find a safe place to take a 15-20 minute nap. * Travel at times you are normally awake & stay overnight along the way if needed. * Stop driving - pull off at the next exit or rest area or find a safe place to stop for the night


Infographic with tips to help improve your sleep


For more information about drowsy driving, visit

Drowsy Driving.org

HSO Drowsy Driving 2014 Crash Fact Sheet

Zero Fatalities Drowsy Driving





If you found this news entry interesting, please consider sharing it through your social network.