Drowsy Driving Fatalities by the Numbers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration processes data on drowsy driving related fatalities every year. These drowsy drivers likely didn’t think about whether they were alert enough to drive and many fatalities are innocent victims. To highlight the severe consequences of drowsy driving, the team at Naplab created a map showing the counties with the highest number of drowsy driving fatalities relative to the county’s population.

Here are the results for counties with a population of 500,000 or more:

  1. Jefferson County, Alabama, 3.31%
  2. Kern County, California, 3.06%
  3. El Paso County, Colorado, 2.97%
  4. Montgomery Country, Texas, 2.51%
  5. Adams County, Colorado, 2.46%

For counties with a population between 150,000 and 500,000:

  1. Bastrop County, TX: 20.72 fatalities per 100,000
  2. Coconino County, AZ: 13.19 fatalities per 100,000
  3. Midland County, TX: 20 11.63 fatalities per 100,000
  4. Hunt County, TX: 10.16 fatalities per 100,000
  5. Liberty County, TX: 9.80 fatalities per 100,000

For counties between 25,000 and 150,000:

  1. Gillespie, TX: 40.03 per 100,000
  2. Milam, TX: 1039.02 per 100,000
  3. Walker, AL: 2132.64 per 100,000
  4. Cass, TX: 931.54 per 100,000
  5. Sweetwater, WY: 31.44 per 100,000

For counties between 5,000 and 25,000:

  1. Pecos, TX: 190.02 per 100,000
  2. Reeves, TX: 178.23 per 100,000
  3. Madison, TX: 157.23 per 100,000
  4. Refugio, TX: 150.78 per 100,000
  5. Winkler, TX: 150.56 per 100,000

Many Texas counties are on these lists, so maybe location does have something to do with drowsy driving accidents. Texas is a huge state full of long, flat rural highways that get very dark at night. It may contribute to drivers feeling drowsy.

There are a lot of tips that can help drivers rest and rouse themselves to drive safely. They can pull over and take a nap if they’re in a safe location to do so. They could drink coffee or other caffeinated treats, they could stop a late night drive and stay at a hotel, and they should always make sure to get plenty of sleep before a long journey.

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