Drowsy driving is almost as dangerous as drunk driving
Concerns about drowsy driving have been growing for some time, especially in light of separate data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that more than one-third of American motorists get less than seven hours of sleep per night.
A separate AAA study released in December 2016 warned that the less sleep a driver has the more risky they become, with someone who cuts short the seven-hour norm by a few hours being nearly as much at risk of crashing as someone who is drunk.
“Don’t be fooled, the only antidote for drowsiness is sleep,” William Van Tassel, AAA’s manager of driver training, said in response to AAA’s latest report. “Your body’s need for sleep will eventually override your brain’s attempts to stay awake.”
Drowsy driving appears to respect neither gender nor age, with men as likely to drift off while behind the wheel as women. Over half of those found by the AAA study to be involved in drowsy driving crashes were between the ages of 16 and 24. And while some incidents may occur when motorists stay up late after a night out, 70 percent of the crashes occurred during the day.
It’s not that motorists aren’t aware of the risks. Virtually everyone involved in the latest AAA survey recognized there is a problem driving while drowsy, yet nearly one in three admitted doing just that within the prior month.