Some governmental research suggests that driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving in a sub-optimal state due to sleep deprivation has been shown to impair judgment, motor skills, cognitive ability and even vision. The AAA has expressed its belief that drowsy driving may have contributed to almost 12% of all traffic fatalities. Others suggest the statistic is as high as 17%.
Can this problem be reduced? Caffeine, open windows, exercise/stretching, and loud music seem to provide only limited benefit. The fact is, the safest remedy is to stop and sleep or let another rested person drive. Truckers may soon face new legislation designed to decrease the number of hours that they are allowed to be on the nation's highways. But how about the rest of us on the roadways?