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Why is Iowa concerned with drowsy driving?

Drowsy driving is a danger to everyone on the road, from the driver who is too tired to the people around him. Iowa is taking steps to combat this issue with a summit this year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that it's been estimated that drowsy driving was responsible for a shocking 72,000 crashes in 2013 alone. Those crashes resulted in 800 deaths and 44,000 injuries.

How many people drive when drowsy?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, it's believed that around 168 million people have admitted to driving a vehicle when drowsy in the last year. Around a third admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. Around 11 million people admitted that they had been involved in a crash or near-collision because they were too tired to be driving or had dozed off behind the wheel.

Are there drowsy driving tests?

Right now, the police have no real tests for drowsy driving. Unlike drinking and driving, measuring a person's awareness behind the wheel isn't as simple as using a breathalyzer. Police often aren't trained to identify a drowsy driver, either. The codes for identifying drowsiness also vary by state and are used inconsistently.

Who is most at risk?

It's believed that those between 18 and 29 are the most likely to drive drowsy. Men are more likely to get behind the wheel when tired than women, and they're close to twice as likely to actually fall asleep behind the wheel.

With this being such a major concern on the roads, reporting this factor in your accident is important. You may be able to seek compensation and help reduce dangerous driving by helping your state collect data.

Source: Iowa Department of Public Safety, "Iowa is Leading Initiative to Stop Drowsy Driving," accessed July 19, 2016

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