Almost seven of 10 people who acknowledged they shouldn't have driven said they were sleepy, according to a new survey from CarInsurance.com.
Drowsy driving ranked at the top of seven conditions listed in the survey that should have caused drivers not to get behind the wheel. Survey respondents also widely supported (60 percent) making drowsy driving against the law.
Of the people who drove when they shouldn't have, 68 percent said they were sleepy at the time. Other excuses included a headache (53 percent), sick enough to be in bed (35 percent), less drunk than a friend (23 percent), not wearing needed glasses or contact lenses (16 percent), taking narcotic pain medicine (15 percent), and one arm in a cast (8 percent).
Insurance carriers would still likely cover repair costs from a crash unless a person's doctor specifically asked them not to drive. In the 12 months preceding the survey, 46 percent of respondents said they drove once or twice against their better judgment.
The survey also identified 11 vehicle malfunctions drivers ignored while driving, including 61 percent who saw the "check engine" light on. Other vehicle problems included not being able to see through snow or ice on the windshield (32 percent), windshield wipers not working (26 percent), speedometer broken (21 percent), horn not working (19 percent), flat tire (17 percent), door that had to be held closed (10 percent), no required child seat for child (7 percent), car filled with exhaust fumes (6 percent), and no driver seat or a broken driver seat (5 percent).
Additionally, 79 percent of people said they didn't drive when others persuaded them to hand over the keys. The 21 percent who resisted that advice said they drove to go to work (21 percent), go home (13 percent), go to the doctor (4 percent), or pick up children (3 percent).
The survey polled 2,000 drivers in December.