Driving While Tired or Sleep Deprived

117 Security Forces Squadron patch

117 Security Forces Squadron patch


We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. And, for the most part, most of us have gotten away with it. It just always seemed that we could tough it out or we would be fine and push through. I’ve heard it a million times, and so have you. “That won’t happen to me. I’ll be fine. I can make it.” But, driving while tired or sleep deprived is an extremely dangerous thing to do, not only for yourself, but also for those around you.

Recently, we lost one of our military family members to this very issue. He was a happy, vibrant, and smart young man. He was a father to a beautiful little girl, and a son to a very caring family. Though no one else was physically injured in the accident, our brother did not make it. His loss is painful and felt by all that had the good fortune to have known him.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “drowsy driving has been implicated in over 100,000 vehicle crashes per year, with approximately 1,500 of those resulting in a loss of life.” Julia Eddington, a New York auto industry freelance writer, reported in one of her recent articles that, “UCLA’s sleep center explained that while we can put off eating when hungry or drinking when thirsty, our body’s drive to sleep is so strong that eventually it’ll force us to sleep, even if the conditions are less than ideal.” To illustrate this, the CDC stated that, “an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.”

Correlating that statement with the most recent U.S. census reports, the number of sleep deprived drivers on U.S. roadways is a staggering 13 million. People who get very little sleep, people on medications, shift workers, commercial drivers, and drivers with untreated sleep disorders are the most likely victims of falling asleep at the wheel, however, all of us are susceptible to this tragedy.

Some of the signs of driving drowsy, according to the CDC, are “yawning or blinking frequently, difficulty remembering the last few miles driven, missing your exit, drifting from your lane or riding the rumble strip on the side of the road.” If you, or your passengers, notice any of these signs occurring during your drive, take the time to pull over and get some rest. Have someone else drive. Or, find somewhere to sleep for a while. Regardless of your plan of action to combat being overly tired when driving, please make the conscious decision to keep yourself, your passengers and others on the roadway safe, because there is no destination that cannot wait a few hours for you to arrive safely.



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Research on Drowsy Driving. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Drowsy+Driving


Edington, J., 2018. Five Signs You’re too tired to Drive. Retrieved from https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/1530/five-signs-youre-too-tired-to-drive/


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2018. Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.