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Drowsy driving - it’s time to wake up

Last updated on December 22, 2023 in Marketplace by Geotab |  2 minute read

Drowsy driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes in the U.S. Read important statistics and learn about fleet tools for detecting driver fatigue.

In 2016, America had its most dangerous year for driving in nearly a decade. Not only did we see a jump of 5% over 2015, but we also had a 14% jump from 2014, the largest we’ve seen in more than 5 years. And while we’re regularly warned about the risks of drunk or 

distracted driving, there’s a new danger we need to wake up to — drowsy driving.


A report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has quantified the relationship between specific measures of sleep deprivation and crash risk.


And the results? Alarming.

Drowsy Driving Research: Less Sleep Leads to Increased Crash Rates

The AAA report found that crash rates of sleep deprived drivers increase dramatically with every lost hour of sleep.


A driver with less than 4 hours of sleep is 11.5 times more likely to crash than a driver who has had the recommended 7 hours of sleep.


Furthermore, the crash risk associated with less than 4 hours of sleep is similar to the crash risk associated with driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.12%-0.15% (the legal limit in the U.S. is set at 0.08%).


Additional research on drowsy driving shows:

  • Drowsy Driving is a factor in more than 100,000 crashes, resulting in 6550 deaths and 80,000 injuries annually in the U.S. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
  • “Sleepiness can impair driving performance as much or more so than alcohol,” as cited by the National Sleep Foundation.
  • Shockingly, 41% of people have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel and one in ten drivers say they have slept behind the wheel in the past year, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
  • On average, long-haul truck drivers in the U.S and Canada slept less than 5 hours a day, as found by a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

So what can you do?


When choosing a telematics provider, choose one that enables you to detect sleep deprivation prior to an incident. New technology is racing ahead. Geotab’s Marketplace has some fantastic solutions to not only detect driver fatigue but prevent incidents BEFORE they occur.

Fleet Technology for Distracted Driving

Seeing Machines — An industry leader in computer vision sensing technologies, Seeing Machines is a sophisticated real-time accident prevention technology using advanced eye and face tracking software to detect driver fatigue and provide immediate intervention through in-cab audio and vibration alerts.


SmartCap — A wearable technology that uses EEG predictive technology to accurately monitor driver's fatigue level before a microsleep can occur. Not only that - SmartCap has already been monitoring the advance stages and can alert a person BEFORE they reach a fatigued state.


Trucking Fatigue MeterTM — Based on sleep science and advanced biomathematical models, Trucking Fatigue Meter monitors the risk of driver fatigue based on streaming Hours of Service (HOS) data. Trucking Fatigue Meter samples HOS data every 15 minutes and recalculates fatigue levels (which then triggers alerts to fleet managers when thresholds are exceeded). No imput from the driver is required.


Whether you’re a fleet manager, dispatcher or driver within any industry, drowsy driving is not something to be ignored. With motor vehicle collisions as the number one cause of workplace death and injuries, waking up to drowsy driving could potentially save your life.


View these posts to learn about some other fleet safety tools:


Mobileye Review — Collision Avoidance Technology for Fleet Safety 

Is Your Company’s Distracted Driving Policy Up-To-Date? 

Motivate Drivers to the Next Level with Fleet Gamification 

If you liked this post, let us know!


Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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