Drowsy Driving leads to Crash in Lea County

One man was killed and another man is in serious condition after a two-car wreck in Lea County near Jal, New Mexico late on Sunday night.

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety responded to the scene of the two-vehicle accident near milepost 28 west on New Mexico State Road 128 near midnight. The driver of the 2012 Ford Pickup truck fell asleep and drifted into the lane of oncoming traffic , causing a head-on collision. Alcohol was not found as a cause to the collision.

According to drowsydriving.org:

  • Young adults, between the ages of 18-29 are 71% likely to drive while drowsy as opposed to 52% for people 30-64 and 19% for 65+
  • Men are 56% likely to drive while drowsy while women are 45% likely to drive while drowsy
  • Adults with children in the house are 59% likely to drive drowsy and those without are 45% likely to drive drowsy.
  • According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep 6-7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more.
  • People who sleep less than 5 hours increase their risk four to five times.

The Center of Disease Control statistics state that drivers that are most likely to drive drowsy are commercial drivers, shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders (sleep apnea), and drivers that use sedating medications, along with drivers that do not get enough sleep.

To avoid falling asleep at the wheel it is important to get around 7 or 8 hours of sleep a day for adults and adolescents need around 9 or ten hours of sleep. People who have sleep disorders need to make sure to seek treatment, and drivers should refrain from drinking alcohol or taking sedating medication.