CDC: Hawaii ranks 2nd in nation for drowsy drivers

CDC: Hawaii ranks 2nd in nation for drowsy drivers

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Before you hit the road, make sure you hit the hay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 4.2% of Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once in the previous month. For Hawaii drivers, that number jumped to 5.7%. Only Texas is sleepier behind-the-wheel at 6.1%.

"For myself, getting up earlier in the morning - so that's lack of sleep, and then, working a job-and-a-half, and then going home and commuting home at the end of the day, all of that contributed to being drowsy on the road," says motorist Charles Jones.

The study found more men than women, more old than young, more Caucasians than minorities, and more employed than unemployed reported driving tired. Those at increased risk include commercial drivers, people who work late or long shifts, those with untreated sleep disorders, who use sedating medications, or who have inadequate sleep.

We found one red pick-up truck with major side damage. It happened just two days ago - when a sleepy driver with two kids in her car - plowed into the parked vehicle.

Most accidents happen in mid-afternoon or nighttime. Some estimates suggest drowsy driving accounts for up to one-third of fatal highway crashes. 16 months ago, for instance, a Honolulu police officer was killed on Farrington highway when a driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Marie White from First Insurance Company of Hawaii says, "It is so important to be present, to understand that your only job when you're in the car is to get to your destination safer, it'd be better for everyone."

Safety and lifestyle prompted Charles Jones to relocate from Kapolei to town. But for those who still have a long commute, experts say opening a window, turning up the radio, or blasting the air conditioning is NOT effective.

Your best bet is to get off the road until you feel rested again.

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