By on March 18, 2015

Asleep At The Wheel - Jumpin' At The Woodside vinyl record album cover

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind announced his agency would crackdown on drowsy driving through data and strategy.

The Detroit News reports the agency would work closely with state governments to gather data and develop strategies based on what has worked in the few states that have introduced legislation to curb drowsy driving:

We’re going to develop strategies specifically targeting populations especially vulnerable to drowsy driving. And we’re going to comprehensively examine the role that driver aids, in the car and outside of it, can play — everything from high-tech solutions like computer algorithms that detect when you’re getting sleepy behind the wheel, to old standbys like rumble strips on the road.

The NHTSA found that from 2005 to 2009, drowsy driving was the cause of 2.2 percent to 2.6 percent of all fatal accidents, coming out to 1,000 deaths annually. Around 72,000 accidents per year linked to injury and/or property damage were found to be caused by the issue, as well.

Though little measurable data on drowsy driving exists thus far, the agency noted that crashes occur often on high-speed roadways between mid-afternoon and early morning involving solo drivers who didn’t avoid crashing, with employees working at night or odd hours, those between 16 and 29 years of age, and those with sleep disorders being most at risk.

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11 Comments on “NHTSA Vows Crackdown Upon Drowsy Driving...”

  • avatar

    “Though little measurable data on drowsy driving exists thus far”

    Well, who is going to admit they fell asleep at the wheel?

    “We’re going to develop strategies specifically targeting populations especially vulnerable to drowsy driving”

    Anybody over 80? Good luck with that, they vote

  • avatar

    who are they targeting specifically, and how are they target them. might as well talking people giving b******** in cars while driving

  • avatar

    About 6 folks have died on the highway in front of my neighborhood. 2 lanes, rural and 70mph. They fall asleep and drive off the road into a culvert or a tree, or even worse into the oncoming lane and take an innocent person with them. Texas DOT does a few improvements after every death, but they claim lack of funds.

    On a happier note, the Wheel is the band I’ve seen the most since moving to Texas.

    • 0 avatar

      Only about 50 – 70 drivers in the US are killed annually on rural interstates (note I said rural and interstate). Over 30,000 others are killed on urban streets and urban interstates.

      Note the extremely low numbers killed on rural interstates. Lack of speed kills there.

  • avatar

    You want to cut drowsy driving? Raise the damn speed limit to shorten the trip.

    The reason I start falling asleep at the wheel is because the speed limit is too low for me to do Houston-to-Chicago from dawn to dusk in one day.

    Just remember the conversation from the Gumball Rally:

    “Can you imagine making this trip at 55 miles per hour?”

    “Of course not – it’d be unsafe.”

    “Exactly. 55 miles an hour is fast enough to kill you, but it’s not fast enough to hold your attention.”

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    In many parts of the country, it appears the police have given up serious enforcement on the rural Interstates. Too many years of civil disobedience, I guess. Typically, I can do 80mph in many areas. Instead, they’ve apparently redoubled their efforts on local roads and highways. This is all anecdotal, of course. But it appears that way to me. The problem, of course, is that one can never be 100 percent sure.

  • avatar

    Sounds like NHTSA has evolved into a solution in search of a problem.

  • avatar

    Who admits falling asleep ? I will ~ it nearly killed me and totally destroyed my pristine 1965 Chevy Malibu four door sedan .

    I was driving home @ 0-Dark:30 after a long night of cruising my buddies ’round , the last one tried really hard to get me to crash on his sofa , I wish I’d taken his advice but one always prefers to sleep in their own bed .

    I hit the curb on North Figeuroa right where it bends slightly , going about 40 MPH , the car leapt into the air and hit the light standard 3′ off the ground , it (the light standard) went between the InLine 230 i6 engine and the right front wheel and didn’t stop until it was firmly embedded in the firewall ~ I was ever so lucky to have survived and I still broke the steering wheel off with my hands and had a dead black bruise on my chest from hitting the hub with it , glad I _ALWAYS_ use the seat belts ’cause the surly saved my sorry @$$ that time .

    That was in the late 1970’s .

    A couple years ago as I was driving North on the Pasadena Freeway just after sunup , two guys in a shiny black Jaguar Sedan passed me , something about them caught my eye so I backed off a bit and shortly there after they began to weave a lot (The Pasadena Freeway is *very* narrow and full of curves) , I realized the passenger’s head was no longer visible and the driver’s head was lolling back , then they suddenly drifted from the fast lane directly across and into the curb ~ the Jaguar went straight up in the air nose first (REALLY tall 1930’s curbs there) , landing against a light post .

    I called 911 and went about my business as I had what to do , when I passed by again 1/2 hour later both men were standing next to the ruined Jaguar , tow truck , cops cars and so on .

    I wonder if the “skull ” was worth it ? .


  • avatar

    On the other hand, maybe it gets safer when people are too tired to text.

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