UTAH

Drowsy driving cases on the rise in Utah

Mar 21, 2023, 8:25 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 12:46 pm

Drowsy Driving...

(Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new AAA study shows many of us don’t know how sleepy we are behind the wheel.

Driving drowsy is comparable to driving intoxicated or impaired behind the wheel, and unfortunately, the Utah Highway Patrol said when pulling people over, drivers aren’t quick to admit that they are drowsy. And the study shows just that — that most of us don’t really know how tired we are.

Although it’s likely underreported, research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that up to 21% of all police-reported fatal crashes involved drowsy driving. And even more recent research found that drivers underestimate their level of fatigue, leading them to drive on the road when they are better off stopping for a break.

In Utah, drowsy driving was the cause of 10 fatal crashes in 2021, which is up from the past five years.

“The person is still impaired when they’re fatigued; they’re not recognizing what’s going on around them, what’s going on inside the vehicle, and performing the basic functions of driving that need to happen,” said UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden. “And so, fatigue driving is a big problem and people need to be aware of it.”

“We need to take that time away from our busy, fast-paced lives to do the things to help keep us safe, but especially too when we’re traveling with family, loved ones, and friends, we’ve seen crashes that not only just end badly for us, but for them as well,” he added.

The study was done by observing drivers in a 150-mile simulated nighttime highway, including rest areas. It found that the level of drowsiness increased throughout the driving experiment. Seventy-five percent of drivers in the study refused to take a break. Also, 75% of the drivers were found to be moderately to severely drowsy by the end of it.

Remember, being awake enough to drive safely doesn’t mean blasting the music or rolling down the windows. Sometimes, it takes pulling over, taking a nap on a long road trip, and traveling during times of the day when you are normally awake.

Related: Zero Fatalities urges road users to stay alert as the clocks move ahead

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Handcuffs are shown against a black background....

Alexander Campbell, ksltv

Salt Lake City man charged with credit union robbery

After the robbery of a Cyprus Credit Union in West Valley, a federal grand jury formally charged Joey Shaun Symond with the crime.  

3 hours ago

kevin and michael bacon performing, they'll stop in utah in June...

Sam Herrera

Kevin Bacon to stop in Utah this summer with Bacon Brothers band

Kevin Bacon and his brother Michael will stop by Utah this June to take part in Lehi's Round-Up concert as the Bacon Brothers band.

16 hours ago

fighter jet...

Sam Herrera

High-altitude balloon intercepted over Utah

After intercepting the balloon over Utah airspace, NORAD found that the balloon didn't pose a threat but said that they would keep tracking it.

16 hours ago

a rending of what a MLB baseball stadium in salt lake would look like...

Adam Small

Utah House committee advances bill aimed to help bring MLB stadium to Salt Lake

Utah residents are excited, and concerned, about the advancement of a bill meant to get a Major League Baseball stadium to Salt Lake City.

17 hours ago

jeff hunt speaks to a class about public access to government...

Amanda Dickson

The public would have less access to government records under proposed law

A bill that tackles public access to government comes after state AG Sean Reyes denied KSL access to his daily calendar.

18 hours ago

A barbed wire fence is shown at a utah prison, whose populations are rising quickly...

Heather Peterson

Prison populations are rising locally and nationally

Utah officials say that prison populations in the state are rising at a higher rate than the national average.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Drowsy driving cases on the rise in Utah