Just in time for 4th of July festivities and holiday travel, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report that warns of the potential for harm or death as a result of drowsy driving.
The CDC noted drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
In the CDC study, "Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors - 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011-2012," it states driving drowsy is a factor in as many as 7,500 fatal motor vehicle crashes a year in the United States, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That is an average of about 25 percent of those crashes. The number seems to be on the rise, too.
It was reported that the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates about 41 million people will travel distances greater than 50 miles from their home. Of those, 85 percent will travel by motor vehicle.
Reports pointed out that an average of 1 in 25 drivers fell asleep while driving the month before interviewing for the study by the CDC. Study results found the most at risk people for driving drowsy are young men under 25 years old. Others that top the list include people who are binge drinkers, those who don't wear seat belts, people who have problems sleeping, along with whose who sleep less than five hours per night.
"About 4 percent, or 1 in 25 people, reported falling asleep while driving in the month before the survey," said CDC epidemiologist and lead author of the study, Anne Wheaton.
The 92,102 respondents in the survey were asked, "During the past 30 days, have you ever nodded off or fallen asleep, even just for a brief moment, while driving?" Those who who said they did not drive or did not have a license were excluded from the survey results, according to the CDC.
The CDC reported drowsy driving is dangerous even if drivers don't fall asleep. Their awareness is certainly impaired.