Highway Traffic and Road Safety


Road Safety




Driver Fatigue, Sleepy Drivers


police investigating car roll over crash on highway


Driver fatigue doesn’t get as much attention as drunk driving, but it can be just as deadly, nearly 1 in every 3 Americans report having fallen asleep at the wheel.


Sleeping and Driving Don't Mix!



Driver fatigue takes the blame for as many as 240,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. annually.

- US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 


Research suggests that fatigue and lack of sleep is the number one cause of heavy truck crashes, a greater danger than either alcohol or drugs.

- National Transportation Safety Board 


More than 1,500 deaths each year are related to drowsy drivers.

 - American Medical Association 


Many drivers feel pressured to drive as many miles as possible in as short a time as possible in order to survive economically, causing them to falsify their log books.

- National Transportation Safety Board 


Sleep related accidents cost American government and business an estimated $46 billion each year.

- National Commission on Sleep Disorders and Research 


night lights time exposure cars driving by



A National Transportation Safety Board study found that fatigue may be a factor in 30-40% of truck crashes.  


  • Be sure that you get at least 8 hrs. of sleep. 

  • Don't try to drive when you are tired. 

  • Don't cheat on your logbook, it's costly. 

  • Maintain good physical condition and exercise regularly.


 True or False: 


Coffee overcomes the effects of drowsiness

while driving.


You can tell when you're going to fall asleep


You're a safe driver, so it doesn't matter if you're sleepy.


You can't take naps.


Being sleepy makes you misperceive things.


Young people need less sleep.


Most people get plenty of sleep.


Danger signals for tired drivers: 

* You can't stop yawning.

* You have missed your exit.

* Not sure of where you are.

* Your speed becomes variable.

* You keep drifting out of your lane.

* You almost went through the red light.

* You didn't see the speed zone change.

* You have trouble keeping your head up.

* You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.

* You don't remember driving the last few miles.

* Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves. 



If you have even one of these symptoms, you may be in danger of falling asleep.

  • Find a truck stop, or a safe place to pull your rig over, and take a nap, be prepared to take a 15 to 30 min. nap if you experience signs of fatigue.  If you sleep any longer you may be more groggy.   

  • If you drive solo, play the radio, chew gum, talk to other drivers on the CB, or  open the window. 

  • If you drive team, talk to your co-driver if he or she is awake. 

  • Schedule a break every 2 hrs, or every 100 miles.  Get out and stretch, safety check your rig, and get some exercise before getting back into the cab. 

  • Don't drive with interior light on, it strains your eyes and distorts your vision. 

  • Avoid medications that increase sleepiness.  Doctors can now prescribe effective allergy medications that don't cause drowsiness. 

  • The important thing is to KEEP YOUR EYES MOVING. always SCAN the road ahead looking to get the full picture, check your mirrors and gauge's.






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