When you are behind the wheel of a car, being sleepy is dangerous. Although most people know how dangerous drinking and driving is, they may not fully realize that drowsy driving can be just as fatal as driving drunk. Like drugs or alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of a crash.
However, it's difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness because there is no standardized test for drowsiness, as there is for intoxication. This lack of standard criteria for determining when a driver is sleepy may be one reason there is little or no police training in identifying drowsiness as a crash factor.
Each year in NYS approximately, 2,800 people are involved in police reported crashes where "fatigued or fell asleep" was designated in the report. About fifty percent of the crashes occur between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Sixteen to twenty-four year old male drivers have the highest fatigue related motor vehicle crash rates. This type of crash often results in tragic consequences resulting in serious or fatal injuries.