Drowsy Driving Comparable to Drunk Driving: AAA Foundation Study

How much sleep do you get? A new study from the AAA Foundation says it makes a big difference in your driving.

According to AAA, drivers who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period are at higher risk for crash. Those who miss between one to two hours double their risk for an accident.

The study also found that someone who gets less than five hours of sleep has a crash risk comparable to someone who is driving drunk.

One in five fatal accidents in the US are the result of drowsy driving. Signs of drowsy driving include having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes, or not remembering the last few miles driven. But AAA says half of drivers involved in fatigue-related accidents don’t experience any of those symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.

The motor club says drivers should not wait for those signs and instead should plan for at least seven hours of sleep a night. For longer drives, AAA recommends the following:

  • Travel at times when normally awake
  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Avoid heavy foods
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairmen

For more information on the study, visit the AAA Foundation website.

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