Report: Drowsy Driving Can be as Dangerous as Drunk Driving
September 18, 2018 (springfieldnewssun.com) According to an online news story from springfieldnewssun.com, a new report indicates drowsy driving can be extremely dangerous — even as dangerous as drunk driving.*
In a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, researchers looked into the connection between driver fatigue and vehicle accidents. The study, published in the journal Sleep, found that drivers who do not sleep enough are far more likely to cause vehicle crashes.
“While the dangers of drowsy driving were already known, this is the first peer-reviewed study to quantify the relationship between how much a driver has slept and his or her risk of being responsible for a crash,” the study authors said.
In examining data from the United States Department of Transportation, the researchers found that out of 5,470 crashes, 7 percent involved driver drowsiness. Moreover, 16 percent of the fatal crashes involved driver drowsiness. In delving deeper into hours of sleep against crash risk, the authors concluded that people who slept fewer than four hours in a day were 15 times more likely to cause a vehicle wreck (compared to people who slept seven to nine hours). That risk, the authors said, is on par with having a blood alcohol concentration of 1.5 times the legal limit.
“Being awake isn’t the same thing as being alert,” said Brian Tefft, co-author of the study. “Falling asleep isn’t the only risk. Even if they manage to stay awake, sleep-deprived drivers are still at risk of making mistakes — like failing to notice something important or misjudging a gap in traffic — which can have huge consequences.”
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