In addition to known risk factors, drowsy driving is more prevalent among binge drinkers than non-binge drinkers or abstainers, and it is more prevalent among drivers who sometimes, seldom, or never wear seatbelts while driving or riding in a car, compared with those who always or almost always wear seatbelts. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s just published “Mortality and Morbidity Report: Drowsy Driving and Risk Behaviors – 10 States and Puerto Rico, 2011-2012.” Smoking is not a risk factor, according to the findings.

The report continues, “Interventions designed to reduce binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving, to increase enforcement of seatbelt use, and to encourage adequate sleep and seeking treatment for sleep disorders might contribute to reductions in drowsy driving crashes and related injuries.”

The CDC has named motor vehicle injury prevention as one of its 10 “winnable battles.” It notes that effective interventions exist to address binge drinking, alcohol-impaired driving, and nonuse of seatbelts. Because young men are more likely to engage in all of these risk behaviors, interventions might be aimed at this high-risk population, the report states.