A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) of automobile drivers revealed the extent of drowsiness in car drivers. The 2010 survey found that 41% of drivers admitted to having “fallen asleep or nodded off” while driving at some point in their life. This includes 11% who did so during the last year and 3.9% within the last month.
Drilling into the statistics provides some interesting insights with regard to those who fell asleep during the last year. First, while 24.7% indicated that this occurred between midnight and 6 a.m., even more (26.1%) reported that they fell asleep at the wheel between noon and 5 p.m. Second, 58.8% admitted doing so during their first hour do driving in contrast to only 20.6% who did so after driving 3 or more hours. Third, only 27.7% reported being aware of their drowsiness before starting to drive, while 71.0% said they felt awake enough to drive.
As we await the latest revisions to the hours-of-service regulations, these statistics as to automobile drivers by an automobile association are of particular interest.