The experts from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety underline that drivers must sleep minimum seven hours at night to reduce the risk of car accidents.
They explain that drowsy driving is equally dangerous to drunk driving. According to the statistics, one in five car crashes is caused by drivers who skip sleep. Public health specialists from the CDC underline that 35 percent of motorists in the U.S. sleep less than seven hours every night.
Drivers who skip one hour of sleep have a 1.3 times higher risk of crashing, whereas the drivers who sleep just five hours are twice more likely to crash. Worse, motorists who sleep even less are four times more prone to get in a car accident compared to drivers who sleep at least seven hours every night.
Motorists who sleep four hours a night are associated with those having an alcohol content in their blood of between .12 and .15 percent. It is worth mentioning that public health experts stress that drivers who sleep two hours or even less in a day must not drive.
According to David Yang, AAA Foundation executive director, those who miss sleep shouldn’t think that they are fit to drive. He further adds that people who decide to drive although they slept less than 5 hours have the same crash risk as those who drive while they are drunk.
The researchers analyzed over 4,571 crashes which occurred from 2005 to 2007 in which minimum one car was towed, and medical assistance was needed. In another survey, drivers were asked about their sleeping habits, roughly 35 percent of them admitted that one month before the study, they drove at least once although they were tired enough to have problems staying awake.
According to Amy Stracke, AAA Traffic Safety managing director, most people find it hard having a balanced work-life schedule. As such, they sacrifice their sleep trying to keep up with their daily activities.
However, by sacrificing sleep, these people have an elevated risk of getting involved in a car accident. Around fifty percent of those who drive even if they didn’t sleep seven hours might experience symptoms, such as difficulties keeping eyes open, not recalling the last several miles driven, and drifting from the lanes.
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