Predicting daytime and nighttime drowsy driving crashes based on crash characteristic models. These crashes resulted in significant property damage, airbag deployment, rollover, injury, or substantial change in speed associated with the crash impact. “Drowsy driving is a bigger traffic safety issue than federal estimates show,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Approximately 31% of crashes examined were classified as severe or moderately severe. The impact that this has on … (2008). 50th Annual Proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine; Chicago, IL; October 2006. Trained data reductionists viewed the final three minutes of video preceding each crash (recorded at 15 frames per second) frame-by-frame and coded whether the driver’s eyelids were open or closed in each frame. How to Pay for Roads, Bridges, and Transit. Briefly, 3,593 drivers were recruited at various times from six sites around the U.S. to participate in a study in which their driving and in-vehicle behaviors were monitored continuously using in-vehicle cameras and other data collection equipment for a period of several months between October 2010 and December 2013 as they drove in t… Most motorists (96%) identify drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 2018 Traffic Safety … They then used those models to estimate the proportion of all crashes that involved drowsiness. (2015). According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year. Other studies have attempted to estimate the proportion  of crashes that involve driver drowsiness by developing statistical models that distinguish between crashes that involved drowsiness versus those that did not, based on readily observable crash characteristics, in samples of crashes in which drowsiness was confirmed with some degree of confidence. These results suggest that driver drowsiness is a substantially larger problem than official government statistics indicate. Stowe, L. (2015). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Overall, the driver was classified as drowsy in 9.5% of all crashes. Report No. Naturalistic Driving Study: Descriptive Comparison of the Study Sample with National Data. Hanowski, R. J., Blanco, M., Nakata, A., et al. Drowsy Driving AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's report, Prevalence of Drowsy Driving Crashes: Estimates from a Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study, is based on the analysis of in-vehicle video footage of crashes that occurred during the Second Strategic Highway Research … “Drowsy driving is a bigger traffic safety issue than federal estimates show,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. While the proportion of crashes that occurred in darkness in the current study was similar to the corresponding proportion among all police-reported crashes nationwide (2017). TRJohnson@national.aaa.com. Tamra Johnson Briefly, 3,593 drivers were recruited at various times from six sites around the U.S. to participate in a study in which their driving and in-vehicle behaviors were monitored continuously using in-vehicle cameras and other data collection equipment for a period of several months between October 2010 and December 2013 as they drove in their own vehicles. Here are some findings from a 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study. Drowsiness was assessed using a validated measure that is based on the percentage of time that a person’s eyes are closed. (2015) and Antin et al. Drowsy driving is a serious problem in the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The data analyzed for this study were collected as a part of the federally funded Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2 NDS). That's more than three times the police-reported number. Finally, it is possible that some drivers who did not meet the current study’s criteria for classification as drowsy (i.e., eyes closed for 12 percent or more of the one- or three-minute coding window) may have nonetheless been drowsy at the times of the crashes. “Unfortunately, drivers often underestimate this risk and overestimate their ability to combat drowsiness behind the wheel.” According to a 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... A 2014 AAA Traffic Safety Foundation study found that 37 percent of drivers report having fallen asleep behind the wheel at some point in their lives. The operational definition of “closed” was that the eyelids were more than 80% closed or covering the pupil. DOT HS 812 446). The driver was classified as drowsy in 8.8% of all crashes by this measure. The AAA Exchange was designed to foster communication between AAA and the 59 million members it represents. By applying a validated measure of drowsiness to a sample of crashes captured on video in a large naturalistic driving study involving members of the general driving population, this study found that 8.8%–9.5% of all crashes and 10.6%–10.8% of crashes severe enough to be reported to the police involved driver drowsiness. Final Report: Evaluation of Techniques for Ocular Measurement as an Index of Fatigue and as the Basis for Alertness Management. While official statistics from the U.S. government indicate that only approximately 1%–2% of all motor vehicle crashes involve drowsy driving, many studies suggest that the true scope of the problem is likely to be much greater. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board. Read more valuable information on teen driver safety. Experts have long regarded such statistics, derived from police reports based on post-crash investigations, as vast underestimates of the scope of the problem. In addition, the SHRP 2 NDS oversampled younger and older drivers. Copyright © 2017 AAA, All Rights Reserved. Drivers in this study were volunteers in a federally funded study that involved placing cameras in their vehicles. Report DOT HS 808 247. References. This is the first study to use the validated PERCLOS measure to quantify the proportion of crashes in which the driver was drowsy using pre-crash video from a large sample of crashes that involved members of the U.S. general driving population. One such study by Masten et al. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Since it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, find a safe place to take a 20-30 minute nap while you’re waiting for the caffeine to take effect; Avoid sleepy times of day. (2016). Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI) is a nationally representative survey that has been conducted annually since 2008 to identify American drivers’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors related to traffic safety issues. Tefft, B. C. (2016). “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.” The results of this study stand in stark contrast to official statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which report that driver drowsiness was involved in an estimated 1.4% of all police-reported crashes nationwide, 2.0% of crashes that resulted in injuries and 2.4% of crashes that resulted in a death in years 2011–2015 (National Center for Statistics & Analysis, 2017). Additionally, 23% of crashes were excluded due to inability to see the driver’s eyes well enough to code PERCLOS. In a more subjective assessment of drowsiness not included in the current study, data reductionists viewed only the final six seconds of video prior to each crash and coded drowsiness based only on obvious signs (e.g., yawning, rubbing eyes, slack musculature, etc.). The proportion of crashes that involved drowsiness varied significantly in relation to lighting conditions (P < 0.001; Fisher’s exact test), with drowsiness evident in over three times the proportion of crashes in darkness as in daylight. Traffic Safety Programs & Materials With the belief that the number of drowsy driving crashes has been under-reported and underestimated, the AAA Foundation conducted a 2010 study, Asleep at the Wheel: The Prevalence and Impact of Drowsy Driving, that presented estimates of the prevalence of drowsy driving on the roads and the proportion of crashes each year that involves a drowsy driver. We welcome your feedback and suggestions. Guidance for Implementation of the AASHTO Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The same study found that 109,000 of those drowsy driving crashes resulted in an injury and about 6,400 were fatal. Download ». (1994). With fall activities in full swing and the end of daylight saving time, there is a greater risk for drowsiness behind the wheel. Prevalence of motor vehicle crashes involving drowsy drivers, United States, 1999-2008. The study protocol and sample of drivers are described in detail in Dingus et al. More than a quarter of those surveyed admitted they drove despite being so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open in the previous month. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 11(6): 591-592. The sample was generally representative of the driving public with the exception that younger and older drivers were deliberately oversampled. Table 2 shows the number and proportion of crashes in which the driver was found to be drowsy based on PERCLOS calculated over the three minutes immediately prior to the crash. The impact that this has on traffic safety should not be underestimated. Earlier this month, we recognized the dangers of driving while tired during National Drowsy Driving Prevention Week (Nov 3-10). 1 in 3 drivers It is possible that drowsiness may have been more or less prevalent in those excluded crashes; however, most exclusions were due to factors such as poor video quality or glare, which would not be expected to be correlated with drowsiness. Even so, almost 1 in 3 also admitted that, at some point in the previous month, they themselves had driven while having a hard time keeping their eyes open. Also of note, more than half of all crashes that involved drowsiness occurred in darkness. Traffic Safety 12/6/2016 Missing 1-2 Hours of Sleep Doubles Crash Risk. Research on Vehicle-Based Driver Status/Performance Monitoring; Development, Validation, and Refinement of Algorithms for Detection of Driver Drowsiness. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s report, Prevalence of Drowsy Driving Crashes: Estimates from a Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study, is based on the analysis of in-vehicle video footage of crashes that occurred during the Second Strategic Highway Research Program’s Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2 NDS). Missing one to two hours of sleep doubles a driver’s crash risk, while foregoing two or three hours increases the risk of a crash by 400 percent, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study. Traffic Injury Prevention, 17(3): 251-257. In extreme cases, all relevant information about the driver’s pre-crash state is lost if the driver is deceased and there are no passengers able to provide information about the driver’s pre-crash state. It is possible that these drivers and their behavior differed somewhat from the population at large; the extent to which they may be more or less likely than members of the general population to drive while drowsy is unknown. (2017, October). A total of 905 severe, moderate, and minor crashes that occurred during the SHRP 2 NDS were initially included in the current study; this number did not include 628 other crashes that were classified as “low-risk tire strikes.” (Hankey et al. Driver drowsiness is an under-reported traffic safety problem, largely because its role in crashes is typically difficult to ascertain. Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Antin, J., Stulce, K., Eichelberger, L., & Hankey, J. Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. DOT HS 811 035. Videos. 762. The SHRP  2 NDS involved few crashes that resulted in severe injuries and no fatal crashes; thus, the results of the current study arguably are most directly comparable to the estimates of Tefft (2012) with respect to all crashes taken together, rather than those for crashes that resulted in severe injuries or fatalities. Rates of Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age, United States, 2014-2015 (Research Brief). (2015). The data analyzed for this study were collected as a part of the federally funded Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2 NDS). We can all use a reminder of the dangers of drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is a prevalent and serious public health issue that deserves more attention, education, and policy initiatives so a substantial amount of lives can be saved and disability averted due to drowsy driving accidents. (2005), for example, likens crashes in which the police report drowsy driving to the tip of an iceberg, where much of the problem remains out of view beneath the surface. Using this measure, drowsiness was identified in 8.8%–9.5% of all crashes examined and 10.6%–10.8% of crashes that resulted in significant property damage, airbag deployment, or injury. Stutts, J., Knipling, R. R., Pfefer, R., Neuman, T. R., Slack,  K. L., Hardy, K. K. (2005). This time you were lucky; next time you could become the latest victim of the tragedy of drowsy driving. Watson, N. F., Badr, M. S., Belenky, G., et al. AAA began providing emergency roadside assistance in 1915, using a fleet of motorcycles to aid stranded motorists. Jackson, M. L., Raj, S., Croft, R., J., Hayley, A. C., Downey, L. A., Kennedy, G. A., Howard, M. E. (2016). Variation by age, sex, and crash severity was not statistically significant (all P > 0.20). Although not all of these crashes were necessarily reported to the police, they were severe enough to have likely met the police-reporting thresholds in most jurisdictions (Hankey et al., 2016). “Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk. (1998). Crashes in which the driver’s eyes were not visible for  at least 75% of the coding period (e.g., due to glare, dark sunglasses, or poor video quality) or in which the driver was not in the driver’s seat for the entire coding period were also excluded (n=204). Here are some suggestions for ways to avoid driving drowsy: Stop driving if you become sleepy. Experts recommend that adults should sleep for least seven hours each night for optimal health (Watson et al., 2015). (2015). Slow eyelid closure as a measure of driver drowsiness and its relationship to performance. In addition, other studies such as Tefft (2012) have estimated that drowsiness is a factor in a much greater percentage of fatal crashes than in less severe crashes. The final one minute of video preceding the crash was analyzed if three full minutes of usable data were not available. Report DOT HS 808 Feeling sleepy is especially dangerous when you are driving. Founded in 1947, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is dedicated to saving lives by preventing traffic crashes and reducing injuries when crashes occur. Questions or comments? Sleepiness can impair driving performance as much or more so than alcohol, studies show. SHRP 2 Report S2-S31-RW-1. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that people who sleep 6-7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a crash than are people who sleep 8 hours a night. (Dawson and Reid, 1997; Powell, 2001) The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that one out of every six (16.5%) deadly traffic accidents, and one out of eight (12.5%) crashes requiring hospitalization of car drivers or passengers is due to drowsy driving. Another study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 7% of all reported crashes, 13% of crashes that resulted in severe injuries, and 16.5% of fatal crashes involved a drowsy driver (Tefft, 2012). Table 1 shows the breakdown of crashes examined in this study by age and sex of the driver involved, lighting conditions present and the severity of the crash. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s 2019 data, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the previous 30 days. In this more subjective assessment, a small number of additional drivers who did not meet  the objective PERCLOS-based criteria for drowsiness were judged to have been drowsy at the times of crashes. Sleepiness slows your reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs your judgment, just like drugs or alcohol. Fatal Crashes Involving Drivers Recorded as Asleep or Fatigued 2013: Analysis Brief. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Tefft, B. C. (2012). AAA Foundation. The contribution of drowsy driving to motor vehicle crashes is notoriously difficult to quantify. NHTSA Drowsy Driving Research and Program … Thus, sources of data beyond standard police reports are necessary to develop accurate estimates of the proportion of crashes that involve driver drowsiness. Washington, D.C.: Transportation Research Board. Sleepiness slows your reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs your judgment, just like drugs or alcohol. (2006) estimated that approximately 15% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. were drowsy. Volume 14: A Guide for Reducing Crashes Involving Drowsy and Distracted Drivers. Naturalistic driving data can provide a unique window into the state of the driver in the moments leading up to a crash. Dingus, T. A., Hankey, J. M., Antin, J. F., Lee, S. E., Eichelberger, L., Stulce, K. E., McGraw, D., Perez, M. A.,. Recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult: A joint consensus statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society. People who are very sleepy behave in similar ways to people who are drunk. Previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found that driving after having slept for less than seven hours in a 24-hour period is associated with measurably elevated crash rates (Tefft, 2016). For the last decade, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been committed to strengtheningour understanding of our nation’s traffic safety culture through the annual Traffic Safety Culture Index (TSCI), a nationally representative survey. Drowsy Driving – AAA Exchange “You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Those who sleep for less than four hours … Report No. Traffic Safety 2/8/2018 Drowsy Driving: Don’t Be Asleep at the Wheel. Getting plenty of sleep (at least six hours) the night before a long trip; Traveling at times when you are normally awake, and staying overnight rather than driving straight through; Scheduling a break every two hours or every 100 miles; Stop driving if you become sleepy; someone who is tired could fall asleep at any time – fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment and vision, causing people who are very sleepy to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk; Not planning to work all day and then drive all night; Drink a caffeinated beverage. A. (26%), the proportion of fatal crashes that occur in darkness is much higher, at 48% (NHTSA, 2017). Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45(1): 180-186. It is an extension of AAA's long history of public service and provides a look into important safety, consumer, automotive and travel issues. SHRP 2 Report S2-S06-RW-1. That doesn’t stop many of us from driving drowsy, though. Read our Privacy Policy. Moreover, a driver who was drowsy before a crash may appear fully alert afterward and may be reluctant to volunteer to the police that he or she was drowsy. Results were similar in analyses limited to police-reportable crashes, with 10.6% involving drowsiness. Tefft, B. C. (2017). Drowsy Driving 2015 (Crash•Stats Brief Statistical Summary. It also surveyed 228 million drivers this past year and says 4.6 million admit to regularly driving when they're so tired they have a hard time keeping their eyes open. In 2018, the questionnaire was revamped to include more measures such as perceived danger, risk of arrest, personal and perceived social approval of risky driving, support for laws and policies designed to curtail these be… We urge motorists to get the full recommended amount of … PERCLOS has been shown to be predictive of drowsiness, lapses in attention, and increased variability in lane position (Wierwille et al., 1994; Dinges et al., 1998; Jackson et al., 2016). According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research: Ninety-six percent of motorists view drowsy driving as very or extremely dangerous, but 24% admitted to driving when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at least once in the previous 30 days before the survey (2019 Traffic Safety Culture Index). A high proportion of crashes involved drivers under age 25, a consequence of both their elevated crash rates (Tefft, 2017) and the deliberate oversampling of younger drivers in the SHRP 2 NDS (Antin et al., 2015). Ultimately, PERCLOS was coded for the full three minutes preceding each of 589 crashes and for one minute preceding each of an additional 112 crashes (701 total). Of note, however, is the fact that crashes that occurred in darkness were more than three times as likely as those that occurred during daylight to involve drowsiness. “This new research further confirms that drowsy driving is a serious traffic safety problem,” warned Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Results indicated that observable driver drowsiness, assessed on the basis of eyelid closures, was present in an estimated 8.8%–9.5% of all crashes and 10.6%–10.8% of those severe enough to be reportable to the police. Driving can reveal your true level of sleepiness, especially in the afternoon or at night. People who are very sleepy behave in similar ways to people who are drunk. Senior Researcher, Traffic Research Group, Sign-up to be notified of the latest Foundation research releases and news, 607 14th Street NW  //  Suite 201  //  Washington, DC 20005 // © 2020 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Dinges, D. F., Mallis, M. M., Maislin, G., Powell, J. W. IV. (2006). It’s estimated that 300,000 crashes every year involve drowsy driving, which also contributes to up to 6,400 deaths per year, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. 202-942-2079 Table 3 shows the number and proportion of crashes in which the driver was found to be drowsy based on PERCLOS calculated over only the final one minute prior to the crash, which enabled the inclusion of 112 additional crashes for which three full minutes of video were not available. Results were similar in analyses limited to police-reportable crashes, with 10.8% of these higher-severity crashes involving drowsiness. Masten, S. V., Stutts, J. C., Martell, C.A. Sleepiness slows your reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs your judgment, just like drugs or alcohol. In an effort to reduce this alarming trend in traffic safety, AAA presents Fatigued Driving programs to motorists. 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