CITIZEN VOICES® Strong majority against drowsy driving legislation - 318 participants

Sep 22, 2016

Roughly 41% of drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel, according to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. An even higher percentage report having operated a motor vehicle while fatigued. Estimates of the role that fatigued driving plays in car accidents vary, but studies have shown that driving without having slept for 24 hours impacts performance in a manner similar to a blood alcohol content of 0.08%—legally drunk in most states. Read more about this issue. On August 10, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH prohibit ‘drowsy driving’?”

Should NH prohibit ‘drowsy driving’?

Drowsy Driving NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 318 participants gave 653 responses.

A total of 77% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 23% of participants, a broader than usual percentage, engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 653 responses from 318 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: A majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 96%, did not support prohibiting drowsy driving in NH.

  • “How would a ban on drowsy driving be enforceable under the law? It's just another fine to tack on. It will do nothing to improve safety.”
  • “There are laws already on the books to cover reckless driving.”
  • “Government cannot regulate every aspect of how people live. To fairly regulate drowsy driving, the government would have to regulate the number of hours people could be made to work, making it illegal to give employees paid overtime they desperately need, making it a crime to take night classes after work, or restricting kids’ activities after their parents’  work hours, etc.”

Yes: A minority, at 4% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported prohibiting drowsy driving in NH.

  •  “Yes, it's just as dangerous as drunk driving.”

*Editor note: Other ‘yes’ responses did not elaborate on their reasoning.

Other: As noted above, 23% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. This was a higher than usual percentage. Areas discussed included:

  • State alcohol sales and road accidents: “How many deaths have you, the state, directly caused just to make a few extra bucks selling booze to the citizens? Look yourselves in the mirror.”
  • Related proposals: “NH should support safe rest stops.”
  • The role of law enforcement officers: “How many troopers and police officers are driving drowsy?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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