National Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 795 fatalities from drowsy driving related crashes in 2017. NHTSA estimates fatigue-related crashes resulting in injury or death cost society $109 billion annually, not including property damage.

A Gallup poll estimated that 7.5 million drivers had nodded off while driving in the past month.

New York State Statistics

In New York in 2017, “fatigue or drowsy driving” or “driver fell asleep” were factors in 2,337 police-reported personal injury and fatal crashes.

According to statistics from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR), "fatigue/drowsy driving" or "driver fell asleep" were factors in 2,337 fatal and personal injury police-reported crashes statewide in 2017. 

Preliminary figures from ITSMR for those same factors show 2,273 fatal and personal injury police-reported crashes statewide in 2018, a decline of over 2 percent (see below).

This chart shows the breakdown for Drowsy Drivers from 2013 to 2018.

Driver Statistics

Young Drivers: ages 18-29 have the highest likelihood to drive while drowsy (71 percent) compared to other age group, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

Likelihood of Drowsy Driving by Age


Commercial Drivers: are at a significantly higher risk for crashes caused by drowsiness. The reasons for this include the long hours on the road and high number of miles they need to drive as part of their jobs. Additionally, many of these drivers tend to be more at risk for a variety of sleep disorders.

Shift Workers: who work night shifts, double shifts or swing shifts are also six times more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving crash according to a study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Business Travelers: are also at a higher risk for a drowsy driving crash, as they travel across time zones, suffer from jet lag, too little sleep, and spend many hours driving to get to their destination.