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Thursday February 29, 2024 Salt Lake City, UT


Highway Safety

Press Release

Protecting Utah

Utah’s Drowsy Driving Awareness Week 2020

Monday August 17, 2020

Sleep smart, drive smart


The third full week in August has been designated as Drowsy Driving Awareness Week in Utah, so we’ll be sharing information about the dangers of drowsy driving and how everyone can help prevent episodes of it.


  • During 2019, male drivers were two times more likely to drive drowsy than female drivers. 
  • For the past five years, 28.8% of drowsy driving crashes involved a driver under the age of 21.

Pie chart shows male and female involvement in drowsy driving crashes

Bar graph shows breakdown of drowsy driving crashes by age.


Driving while you’re sleepy.

You might not realize it, but it has similar effects to driving drunk.

Don’t endanger yourself, your passengers or others on the road. If you feel sleepy, get off the road.

  • Over the past five years, more than 55% of drowsy driving crashes were a result of the driver failing to keep in the proper lane.
  • Running off the road and overcorrection were the second and third leading causes of crashes. 

Bar graph shows contributing factors to drowsy driving crashes in Utah.


Road trips and longer drives can lead to drowsy driving.

Many times, people try to just drive through to their final destination.

Map shows dots where drowsy driving crashes happened in Utah.

Locations of drowsy driving crashes in Utah in 2019.


Map shows locations of drowsy driving crashes in Utah 2015-2019.

Map shows locations of drowsy driving crashes in Utah 2015-2019.


  • Drowsy driving crashes spike at 7 AM and again at 4 PM.

Line graph shows number and time of day of drowsy driving crashes.


We aren’t getting enough sleep and that’s having negative effects on our lives – including our driving.

Poor quality sleep can affect all of us. 

1,136 drowsy driving crashes occurred all across the state of Utah in 2019. 

These crashes resulted in seven deaths.

If you feel drowsy, pull over for a quick nap or switch drivers.

WATCH: a story “I fell asleep at the wheel, and it resulted in the death of my sister Maddie”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1/3 of U.S. adults report sleeping less than 7 hours a day – the optimal time needed for good health and well being (Liu et al., 2016). That means that nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived people are in the workplace, at school and on the road.



Recognize the signs – in yourself or, if you’re a passenger, in the driver.

Don’t hesitate to get involved – recommend stopping for a break or offering to drive if you’re awake and alert.

Help the driver recognize that he/she is tired and that drowsy driving is dangerous.

➤ Slower reaction times ➤ Impaired judgment ➤ Increased levels of risk taking ➤ More frequent blinking/eye closure ➤ De cits in cognitive performance ➤ Memory impairment Attention failure Loss of visual awareness

Before you hit the road – follow these steps to help avoid drowsy driving:

* Get enough sleep - most adults need 7-9 hours, teens need 8.5-9.5 to maintain proper alertness during the day * Schedule proper breaks, about every 100 miles or 2 hours during long trips * Arrange for a travel companion - someone to talk with and share the driving * Avoid alcohol or sedating medications - check your labels or ask your doctor

On the road – if you get sleepy, follow these tips to help keep you safe:

* Have caffeine & find a safe place to rest while waiting the 30 minutes or so for it to take effect. * Take a break every 2 hours or 100 miles * Take a nap - find a safe place to take a 15-20 minute nap. * Travel at times you are normally awake & stay overnight along the way if needed. * Stop driving - pull off at the next exit or rest area or find a safe place to stop for the night


Infographic with tips to help improve your sleep


For more information about drowsy driving, visit


Zero Fatalities Drowsy Driving




Hillary Koellner
Director of Public Affairs
Department of Public Safety


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