The government estimates that about 3 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve drowsy drivers, but other estimates have put that number as high as 33 percent.
Warning signs of drowsy driving: Feeling very tired, not remembering the last mile or two, or drifting onto rumble strips on the side of the road. That signals a driver should get off the road and rest, Wheaton said.
Even a brief moment nodding off can be extremely dangerous, she noted. At 60 mph, a single second translates to speeding along for 88 feet — the length of two school buses.
To prevent drowsy driving, health officials recommend getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, treating any sleep disorders and not drinking alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr