One in three participants in the research admitted to drowsy driving.
Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has found missing out on 1-2 hours of your recommended seven hours of sleep a night will double your chances of being in a traffic accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention around 35 percent of Americans don’t get their full amount of sleep putting themselves at risk of being involved in a deadly accident.
The report issued this week called the Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement, and took information from a representative sample of 7,234 drivers involved in 4,571 crashes, found that 97 percent of participants that took part saw driving in a drowsy state was unacceptable. However, almost one in three admitted to driving at least once in a month in a sleepy condition.
“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”
The report states that six to seven hours increases crash risk by 1.3, five to six hours sees a 1.9 times increase, four to five hours sleep translates to a 4.3 greater risk and less than four hours sees a massive 11.5 times increase in being involved in a serious crash.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the body doesn’t always show signs before falling asleep at the wheel so people need to be aware and take precautions such as scheduling driving breaks for long distance, avoiding medications that cause drowsiness, avoiding heavy meals before driving or travel with an alert passenger who can take turns with driving.
For the full report visit the AAA website.