AAA study shows sleep deprivation can double crash risks


WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTNH) — A new study by AAA shows missing 1-2 hours of sleep doubles the risk of car crashes.

While the recommended amount of sleep is seven hours, the Center of Disease Control says only 35% of U.S. drivers sleep less than seven hours everyday.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic safety found that drivers who miss 1-2 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a car crash.

The report also shows that drivers missing 2-3 hours of sleep nearly quadruples their risk for a crash.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel. Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.” – Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive Director

The foundation says failing to keep a healthy sleep schedule not only puts your life at risk, but also the lives of others on the roads. Rather than relying on your body to to give you warnings that you are too tired to drive, AAA officials urges drivers to prioritize getting plenty of sleep every night.

AAA ask drivers to follow these tips to ensure safe driving:

  • travel at times when you are normally awake
  • take a break from driving every two hours or every 100 miles
  • avoid eating heavy foods
  • travel with an alert passenger that can take turns driving
  • avoid medications that can cause drowsiness

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