A CDC study estimated that if someone gets behind the wheel of a car having not slept in 18 hours, it’s similar to having a blood alcohol level of 0.05%. Being awake for 24 hours makes the response time more like someone driving with a BAC of 0.10%, or above the legal limit.
Nationally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates around 1,500 people are killed every year as a result of drowsy driving. However, traffic experts say those statistics are misleading. Among the other categories where roadside deaths occur are “lane departure crashes,” “single vehicle run-off-the-road crashes,” and “impaired driver crashes,” all of which could have been done by someone who fell asleep at the wheel.
“It’s a huge problem, underreported, and we have to do more to educate people in the public about the importance of sleep,” Pam Shadel Fischer, spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said.
Read the article at GHSA.