The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has released a new fact sheet focusing on drug and fatigue related fatal collisions in Canada.

Between 2000 and 2018, the number of drug-related road traffic fatalities increased from 266 in 2000 to a high of 551 in 2018, while the number of fatigue-related road traffic fatalities rose from 138 in 2000 to 159 in 2004 before falling to a low of 81 in 2018.

“Fatigue-related driving has not been as prevalent as drugged driving, however, some driving characteristics of fatigued drivers are similar to those of impaired drivers,” said Ward Vanlaar, TIRF Chief Operating Officer. “These include uneven braking, fewer mirror checks for other vehicles, erratic speed and failing to stay in one’s lane.

“It’s critical drivers understand that being awake for 18 hours can result in impairment due to fatigue which is approximately equal to a blood alcohol concentration of .05. Furthermore, it is difficult for a sleepy or fatigued person to anticipate when they will fall asleep. So, even if you don’t feel tired, sleep is a biological need you just can’t fight.”