Young drivers view drowsy driving as understandable but strongly believe drunk driving wrong

Jul 19, 2012, 11:09 ET from National Safety Council

Evidence proves both types of impaired driving predominant among young drivers and can be as deadly

ITASCA, Ill., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent study in the Journal of Safety Research from the National Safety Council indicates the dangers of sleep-deprived driving are not highly recognized among young drivers. Sleep-deprived driving can be as dangerous as alcohol-impaired driving, but attitudes about drowsy driving are less known.


The study explains that:

  • Sleep-related and alcohol-related car crashes occur predominantly among young drivers
  • Among drivers taking long trips on the highway, drivers under the age of 30 are more sleep-deprived than other age groups
  • The driving errors displayed by drinking drivers are very similar to those of drowsy drivers

"Drunk driving is universally viewed as dangerous, but young people especially don't understand the very serious risks associated with drowsy and distracted driving," said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "All drivers need to understand the dangers of driving while tired."

This study examined the differing perceptions young drivers have of sleep-deprived drivers compared to drinking drivers. Findings revealed that driving while tired was viewed as understandable, but that driving after drinking was definitely wrong.

Media requests for the complete study should be sent to

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SOURCE National Safety Council