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Vermont ranks as the safest state to drive in regarding incidents involving drowsy driving.

GuntherMitsubishi.com conducted an analysis of 2022 County Health Rankings data to compare and determine which states in America are the most dangerous to drive in, based on the following factors: the percentage of people who suffer from insufficient sleep, and the percentage of motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people.

The data breakdown for each state also shows additional issues contributing to dangerous driving conditions, including the average traffic volume per meter of major roadways, the percentage of alcohol-impaired driving deaths, and overall driving deaths within the state. The data reveals that overall, California is ranked as the No. 1 most dangerous state in which to drive, considering a combination of the aforementioned factors.

Vermont ranked in 50th position — making it the safest state to drive in when it comes to drowsy drivers. The Green Mountain State has an insufficient sleep rate of 30 percent and a 0.4 percent rate of motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people. The traffic volume per meter of major roadways is 171 and 35 percent of driving deaths involve alcohol. Finally, the number of driving deaths in the state was 47 in 2019, according to the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Behind Vermont follows South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Utah as the least dangerously drowsy states in which to drive. However, the top 5 most dangerously drowsy states in which to drive are California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and Georgia.

Lack of sleep can affect attentiveness on the road, as well as negatively impact coordination and judgement while driving. This is referred to as cognitive impairment. Going too long without proper sleep can affect driving ability in much the same way as consuming alcohol.

Drowsy driving can be a result of a driver who hasn’t had enough sleep; or who has an untreated sleep disorder. It can also be a result of the side effects of medication, shift work, or alcohol consumption. Even if the driver doesn’t fall asleep behind the wheel, drowsiness can impair their ability to drive by affecting their level of alertness, slowing down their reaction time, and impacting their decision-making abilities. Not only is this a hazard to the driver, but also to other road users and pedestrians.