The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a highway safety forum this week on the topic of drowsy driving. The public forum will cover various topics, including the prevalence of drowsy driving, potential countermeasures to combat the problem and risk factors tied to the issue. The NTSB has given the forum the title Awake, Alert, Alive. While fatigue has been addressed in the world of commercial driving, its impact on noncommercial driving is less well understood.
According to a poll conducted by the AAA, 83 percent of Americans consider tired drivers a threat to their personal safety. How many drowsy drivers are on the road is difficult to calculate. Another AAA poll indicated that 41 percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep or nodding off behind the wheel at some point. The NTSB estimates that 100,000 accidents and more than 5,000 traffic fatalities happen every year because of drowsy driving.