Drowsy Driving in Portland, Oregon

Drowsy Driving 

Being sleep deprived or drowsy while driving can have similar effects to being impaired by drugs or alcohol. Drowsy driving affects reaction time, attentiveness, and decision-making abilities, even if drivers don’t actually fall asleep at the wheel.

According to AAA officials, the recommended remedy for drowsy driving is sleep. They suggest that drivers either take a break from driving or pull into a rest area for a brief 20-minute nap.

Short-term tactics such as drinking coffee, singing, or rolling down the window will not be effective. According to William Van Tassel, the manager of Driver Training for AAA, the body’s need for sleep will eventually override the brain’s attempts to stay awake.

According to officials from AAA, warning signs may include not remembering the last few miles driven, drifting out of lane or off the road, and having trouble keeping your eyes open.

In a study, researchers analyzed video footage of drivers’ faces in the three minutes prior to a collision. Based on a scientific measure that correlates the amount of time a person’s eyes are closed with their level of drowsiness, researchers found that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage were attributed to drowsiness. According to federal estimates, drowsiness is a factor in only one to two percent of crashes overall. [1]

Each year, drowsy driving accounts for about 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). [2]

Statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation say that over the past five years in Oregon, 51 people have died in 48 crashes where drowsy driving or fatigue was a factor. [3]

Drowsy Driving Similar to Driving Impaired

Both drowsy driving and driving impaired share similarities in their potential to impair a driver’s abilities and pose significant risks on the road. 

Driving drowsy and driving drunk have similar effects. Driving after more than 20 hours without sleep is estimated to be the equivalent of driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent. [2]

Drowsy Driving Similar to Driving Impaired

Contact Goldberg & Loren’s Portland car accident attorneys today for a free consultation.


[1] Oregon/Idaho, A. (2023, April 5). AAA finds Drowsy Driving is Major Traffic Safety Issue. AAA Oregon/Idaho. https://info.oregon.aaa.com/aaa-finds-drowsy-driving-is-major-traffic-safety-issue/

[2] Rivelli, E. (2022, December 16). Drowsy driving statistics and facts 2022. Bankrate. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/drowsy-driving-statistics/

[3] Statistics show drowsy driving increases when daylight savings ends. (2018, October 31). KATU. https://katu.com/news/local/statistics-show-drowsy-driving-increases-when-daylight-savings-ends

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