Statistics Related to Drowsy Driver Crashes



Link to NHTSA 2011 Stats sheet - Data from 2005 to 2009 (PDF format)

Each year, at least, 1500 people die in crashes related to sleepy, fatigued or drowsy drivers in the United States of America. This is according to statistics gathered by the federal government. This number is most likely an underestimate. Unless someone witnesses or survives the crash and can testify to the driver's condition, it is difficult to determine if the driver fell asleep.

Each year, at least, 40,000 people are injured in drowsy driver crashes. For the same reasons as above, this is also probably an underestimate.

At least 100,000 crashes are caused by drowsy drives, each year.

62% of surveyed American adults (72% of men and 54% of women) reported driving while feeling drowsy.

37% of surveyed American adults (49% of men and 26% of women) said they have dozed off while driving at least once.

27% of surveyed American adults (36% of men and 20% of women) said they have dozed off while driving in the past year.

20% of surveyed Canadian adults said they have dozed off while driving in the past year.

40% of surveyed Irish adults said they have experienced driver fatigue in the past year.

12% of surveyed people say sleeplessness affected their driving.

According to the THINK! Road Safety website by the United Kingdom Department for Transportation (7/2004): "Research commissioned by the Government found a fifth of motorway collisions are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel and one in ten crashes on all of Britain's roads - around 23,300 a year are also linked to fatigue. Sleep-related vehicle accidents (SRVAs) are more likely to result in serious injury than the 'average' road accident."


According the most recent figures available when my wife died in 1999, more people died in crashes caused by drowsy drivers than from each of the following causes:

  1. Hepatitis Type B
  2. Viral Hepatitis
  3. Kidney Infections
  4. Meningitits
  5. Acute Respiratory Infections
  6. Viral Pneumonia
  7. Influenza
  8. Pleurisy
  9. Gastritis and Duodenitis
  10. Appendicitis
  11. Abdominal Cavity Hernia
  12. Peritonitis
  13. Hypotension
  14. Typhoid Disorders
  15. Alcoholic Psychoses
  16. Inflamatory Diseases of the Central nervious System
  17. Infantile Cerebral Palsy
  18. Epilepsy
  19. Phlebitis and Thrombophlebitis
  20. Infections of the Skin and Subcutaneous Tissues
  21. Newborns Affected by Maternal Compliations of Pregnancy

  22. "Water Transportation" Accidents
  23. Air and Space Crashes
  24. Railroad Crashes
  25. Electrocutions
  26. Accidently shot by a firearm
  27. Falliong Down Stairs
  28. Falls from a ladder, scaffolding or a building
  29. Excessive Heat
  30. Excessive Cold
  31. Drowning during Sports or Recreation
  32. Drowning in a Bathtub
  33. Inhalation and Ingestion of Food
  34. Suffocation from Bedding, Cradles, Plastic Bags, Locked in a Small Space, Falling Earth
  35. Agricultural, Lifting, Earth Moving and Earth Excavation Machinery
  36. Accidentally Shot by a Hangun, Shotgun or Hunting Rifle

  37. And almost as many as Multiple Sclorosis...


Additionally, more people die each year from crashes related to Drowsy, Sleepy or Fatigued Drivers than from all of the following causes COMBINED:

  1. Plague
  2. Anthrax
  3. Leprosy
  4. Diptheria
  5. Whooping Cough
  6. Tetanus
  7. Smallpox
  8. Chicken Pox
  9. Measles
  10. Rubella
  11. Yellow Fever
  12. Dengue
  13. Mosquito-born Encephilitis
  14. Infectious Mononucleosis
  15. Malaria
  16. Venereal Diseases
  17. Vitamin A, B, C and D Difficiencies
  18. Gout
  19. Glaucoma
  20. Cataracts
  21. Hemorrhoids
  22. Chronic Sinusitis
  23. Pregnancies with Abortive Outcomes
  24. Impetigo
  25. Psoriasis
  26. Spina Bifida
  27. Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip
  28. Bites from Snakes, Lizards and Spiders
  29. Dog Bites
  30. Hornet, Wasp and Bee Stings
  31. Catacylsmic Earth Movements and Eruptions
  32. Fireworks

Here are the specific number of people who died from each of these causes. The diseases are from 1992, the accidents from 1996:

Diseases:

  • Abdominal Cavity Hernia...................................1,319
  • Acute Respiratory Infections.............................. 860
  • .....Chronic Sinusitis.................................... 89
  • Alcoholic Psychoses....................................... 384
  • Anthrax................................................... 0
  • Appendicitis.............................................. 413
  • Asbestosis................................................ 285
  • Birth Trauma.............................................. 218
  • Cataracts................................................. 2
  • Cerebral Palsy: Infantile................................. 821
  • Chicken Pox............................................... 100
  • Cholera................................................... 597
  • Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip................................ 14

  • Cystitis.................................................. 155
  • Dengue.................................................... 1
  • Diptheria................................................. 1
  • Drug Dependence........................................... 309
  • Encephilitis: Mosquito-born............................... 3
  • Epilepsy..................................................1,391
  • Gastritis and Duodenitis.................................. 641
  • Glaucoma.................................................. 3
  • Gout...................................................... 87
  • Hemorrhoids............................................... 13
  • Hepatitis: Type B.........................................1,027
  • Hepatitis: Viral.........................................~1,500
  • Herpes: Simplex and Zoster................................ 284
  • Hypotension............................................... 868
  • Inflamatory Diseases of the Central Nervious System.......1,315
  • Influenza.................................................1,006
  • Kidney Infections........................................~1,300
  • Leprosy................................................... 2
  • Lipoma.................................................... 9
  • Malaria................................................... 6
  • Measles................................................... 4
  • Meningitits..............................................~1,000
  • Mental Retardation........................................ 395
  • Mononucleosis: Infectious................................. 19
  • Newborns Affected by Maternal Compliations of Pregnancy...1,462
  • Peritonitis...............................................1,359
  • Phlebitis and Thrombophlebitis............................1,311
  • Plague.................................................... 1
  • Pleurisy.................................................. 806
  • Pneumonia: Viral.......................................... 532
  • Pregnancies with Abortive Outcomes........................ 52
  • .....Spontaneous Abortion................................. 9
  • .....Legal Induced Abortions.............................. 5
  • .....Illegally Induced Abortioned......................... 2
  • Pregnancy: Complications Related to....................... 107
  • Rhuematic Fever: Acute.................................... 100
  • Rhuematism, Excluding the Back............................ 501
  • Rubella................................................... 1
  • Schzophrenic Psychoses.................................... 292
  • Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue Infections................... 749
  • .....Impetigo............................................. 2
  • .....Psoriasis............................................ 29
  • Smallpox.................................................. 0
  • Spina Bifida.............................................. 162
  • Spine Curvature........................................... 304
  • Tetanus................................................... 9
  • Tuberculosis: Pulmanary...................................1,289
  • Typhoid Disorders.........................................1,062
  • Venereal Diseases......................................... 96
  • Venomous Animals and Plants............................... 81
  • .....Bites from Snakes, Lizards and Spiders............... 16
  • .....Dog Bites............................................ 18
  • .....Hornet, Wasp and Bee Stings.......................... 59
  • Vitamin A Difficiencies................................... 1
  • Vitamin B Difficiencies................................... 17
  • Vitamin C Difficiencies................................... 1
  • Vitamin D Difficiencies................................... 7
  • Yellow Fever.............................................. 0
  • Whooping Cough............................................ 5

  • And almost as many as Multiple Sclorosis..................1,900

  • Accidents:
  • Air and Space Crashes.....................................1,061
  • Catacylsmic Earth Movements and Eruptions................. 25
  • Drowning during Sports or Recreation...................... 822
  • Drowning in a Bathtub..................................... 281
  • Electrocutions............................................ 559
  • .....Domestic Wiring and Appliances....................... 88
  • .....Power Plants......................................... 158
  • .....Industrial Wiring and Machinery...................... 26
  • Excessive Heat............................................ 716
  • Excessive Cold............................................ 533
  • Falling Objects........................................... 656
  • Falls down Stairs.........................................1,241
  • Falls from a Ladder or Scaffolding........................ 352
  • Falls from or out of a Building........................... 467
  • Falls into a Hole......................................... 94
  • Falls by Slipping, Tripping or Stumbling.................. 491
  • Firearm Missles by Accident...............................1,225
  • .....by Handgun........................................... 233
  • .....by Shotgun........................................... 116
  • .....by Hunting Rifle..................................... 64
  • Fireworks................................................. 2
  • Hunger, Thirst, Exposure and Neglect...................... 203
  • Ignition of clothing...................................... 131
  • Inhalation and Ingestion of Food..........................1,088
  • Lightning................................................. 76
  • Machinery Accident........................................ 986
  • .....Agricultural Machinery............................... 514
  • .....Lifting Machinery.................................... 141
  • .....Earth Movers and Excavation Machinery................ 106
  • Mechanical Suffocation....................................1,062
  • .....Suffocation from Bedding and Cradles................. 207
  • .....Suffocation from Plastic Bags........................ 37
  • .....Suffocation from being Locked in a Small Space....... 14
  • .....Suffocation from Falling Earth....................... 59
  • Railroad Crashes.......................................... 565
  • "Water Transportation" Accidents.......................... 675


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    Phil Konstantin

    P.O.BOX 17515
    SAN DIEGO, CA 92177-7515
    United States



    This page has been visited times since May 14, 2000.



    Officer Phil Konstantin
    California Highway Patrol
    7183 Opportunity Rd.
    San Diego, CA 92111
    (858) 467-3334

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