NEW YORK (CBS 2) – AAA is spreading the word about drowsy driving after new data showed an astounding one in every six fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver.
According to the study, the problem is more common than most people realize. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 41 percent admitted they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point.
“It creeps up on you. It can impair your judgment, it slows your reaction time,” Robert Sinclair of AAA said.
Statistics showed the biggest culprits were young male drivers between 16-24 years old.
CBS 2′s Rob Morrison spoke with two road trippers at a rest area in New Jersey — the only state where drowsy driving is a crime.
They said they were aware of the danger of falling asleep at the wheel.
“We got some coffee and some Red Bulls — whatever it takes to keep us going,” Josh Zalmanov said.
Rumble strips used to be the only warning for drivers who drifted off. Today, highly engineered cars can sound a warning alarm.
But AAA said rest was the only real solution.
“Taking a break probably every two or three hours is very helpful in preventing drowsy driving,” Sinclair said.