“Fatigued drivers can be just as dangerous as an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver on our roadways,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “A lack of sleep will decrease a driver’s awareness, slow reaction time, and impair judgment. All of these behaviors can result in serious or even deadly consequences for the driver, their passengers or others on the roadway.”
According to the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, in 2012, the most recent year that finalized data is available, more than 4,000 collisions occurred in California involving a drowsy driver. Those collisions resulted in 36 deaths and injuries to more than 2,400 people.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, nationally, more than 100,000 collisions each year are the result of drowsy driving.
Drivers who experience any symptoms of drowsy driving should stop driving and rest. Drivers who are far from home should use a rest stop, parking lot, or hotel to take a quick nap. Twenty minutes of napping may help to clear fatigue.
“Many people under estimate the dangers associated with driving drowsy,” added Commissioner Farrow. “This week is the perfect opportunity to educate the public on the associated with drowsy driving.”