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Data shows fatigue-caused crashes in Colorado continued to be high in 2022


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Data released by Colorado State Patrol shows fatigue-caused crashes continue to be an issue in Colorado. According to the National Safety Council, drowsy driving is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol and can make drivers three times more likely to crash.

In 2021, CSP said troopers saw a jump in driver fatigue and drivers asleep at the wheel causing serious injury and even fatal crashes. According to distracted driving crash data, there were 88 crashes due to fatigue or a driver falling asleep.

In 2022, there was a slight decline, but there were still a reported 84 crashes.

“Fatigue impacts your reaction time, judgment, and vision, basically shutting down the senses you need to be safe on the roads,” stated Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol in a press release. “It may not be convenient to get a hotel or pull over in a safe place for a nap, but it may make the difference in saving your life.”

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) said driving while drowsy could lead to weaving back and forth between lanes, being unable to maintain the right speed, and being unable to keep an appropriate distance from other vehicles.

CSP said if you do notice signs of drowsiness, pull over and take a 20-minute nap in a safe place.

Below are the top signs of drowsy driving, which are similar to signs of drunk driving, per the NSF.

  • Heavy eyelids or frequent blinking
  • Frequent yawning
  • Daydreaming and trouble focusing
  • Drifting back and forth between lanes
  • Hitting a rumble strip
  • Drooping head
  • Poor recall of the last few miles
  • Missing signs or exits 
  • Restlessness, irritability, and aggressiveness including tailgating
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