A new report issued Nov. 3 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drowsy driving causes an average of 6,400 fatal crashes on U.S. roads each year. The National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project urges drivers to keep our roads safe by staying “Awake at the Wheel.”

“Healthy sleep is essential to promote optimal alertness behind the wheel and prevent drowsy driving,” said Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and national spokesperson for the Healthy Sleep Project. “The American Academy of Sleep Medicine urges you to stay ‘Awake at the Wheel’ to protect yourself, your passengers and other drivers from avoidable, life-threatening accidents caused by drowsiness.”

The public release of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report coincides with Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, Nov. 2 – 9, 2014. Results indicate that 21 percent of deadly motor vehicle crashes involve a drowsy driver. The report also estimates that drowsy driving is involved in 328,000 crashes annually. About 109,000 of these crashes result in injuries.

The Healthy Sleep Project launched the “Awake at the Wheel” campaign to reduce the rate of vehicular crashes that are due to drowsy driving. Recently the project partners endorsed the AASM’s new Drowsy Driving Health Advisory, which urges every driver to take responsibility for avoiding drowsy driving and encourages transportation companies to promote driver safety through drowsy driving prevention. Learn more at www.projecthealthysleep.org.

Read the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report

Read the AASM Drowsy Driving Health Advisory