Contact: NSF Communications
Sleep first. Drive alert. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® 2021
WASHINGTON, DC, November 5, 2021 — The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announces November 7- 14 as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® for 2021.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® is a time to reflect on how dangerously common—but preventable—drowsy driving truly is. Drowsy driving can be avoided. The most important preventative measure to stopping drowsy driving is a well-rested driver.
Drowsy driving is responsible for more than 6,400 U.S. deaths annually and is a public health concern. Younger drivers aged 16-25 are at greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but almost everyone can relate to a time when they have nodded off behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 police reported crashes each year are caused primarily by drowsy driving and that such crashes result in more than 71,000 injuries and $12.5 million in monetary losses. Most importantly, drowsy driving is preventable. NSF’s annual campaign goal is to reduce the number of drivers who drive while sleep deprived.
“Drowsy driving is a public health issue that can affect everyone. NSF encourages all drivers to prioritize sleep and drive only when alert and refreshed,” said NSF Chair, Lauren Hale, PhD.
The NSF Drowsy Driving Consensus Working Group’s 2016 report published in Sleep Health concluded that sleep deprivation renders motorists unfit to drive a motor vehicle. 1 Specifically, healthy drivers who have slept for two hours or less in the preceding 24 hours are not fit to operate a motor vehicle. NSF experts further agreed that most healthy drivers would likely be impaired with only 3 to 5 hours of sleep during the prior 24 hours.
- Three key steps before driving can help prevent falling asleep behind the wheel:
get the recommended amount of sleep the night before your trip (7-9 hours on average),
- plan long trips with a companion, and
- schedule regular stops every 100 miles or 2 hours.
Join NSF to help prevent drowsy driving. Access educational resources today on theNSF.org and share the campaign’s message on social media using the hashtag #SleepFirst.
NSF is proud to recognize Jack Cooper, Schneider National, and Waymo as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week sponsors and demonstrating their commitment to sleep health and road safety. We’re also pleased that the Drowsy Driving Prevention Project and National Safety Council are joining NSF to help educate the public about the dangers of drowsy driving.
1. National Sleep Foundation. Drowsy Driving Consensus Workgroup. Nov. 2015. Czeisler, CA, Wickwire, EM, Barger LK, et al. Sleep-deprived motor vehicle operators are unfit to drive: a multidisciplinary expert consensus statement on drowsy driving. Sleep Health. 2016;2(2):94-99.
About the National Sleep Foundation
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research and practice.