Drowsy Driving — 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009–2010

MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 01/2013; 61(51):1033-1037.


he National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 2.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes (approximately 730 in 2009) and 2.0% of all crashes with nonfatal injuries (approximately 30,000 in 2009) involved drowsy driving. Data collection methods make it challenging to estimate the number of crashes that involve drowsy drivers, but some modeling studies have estimated that 15% to 33% of fatal crashes might involve drowsy drivers. Fatalities and injuries are more likely in motor vehicle crashes that involve drowsy driving compared with non-drowsy driving crashes. In order to assess the state-level self-reported prevalence of falling asleep while driving, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed data from a set of questions about insufficient sleep administered through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during 2009–2010. Among 147,076 respondents in 19 states and the District of Columbia (DC), 4.2% reported having fallen asleep while driving at least one time during the previous 30 days. Previous surveys have addressed the topic of drowsy driving, but this report presents the findings from the largest number of U.S. survey respondents to date.