New study finds more people driving while dangerously exhausted

New study finds more people driving while dangerously exhausted

Kerry Wise
February 9, 2018

After analyzing thousands of dash cam videos, researchers determined almost ten percent of crashes can be blamed on drowsy driving.

While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsiness is a factor in one to two percent of all crashes, AAA's new study shows that the problem is much worse -- 9.5 percent of all crashes, and eleven percent of the crashes that resulted in significant property damage, involved sleepy drivers. Drivers are urged to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

Current federal estimates say drowsiness is a factor in 1 to 2 percent of crashes.

"Once they become drowsy, their chances of crashing a commercial vehicle are much greater than a personal auto", said Trooper Lewis.

A report from AAA found that drowsy driving is a bigger threat than we realize.

A point echoed on Thursday by safety officers and first responders in the wake of a new reports from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

AAA says driving on five-hours of sleep is equivalent to driving drunk.

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"When drivers get exhausted, the symptoms can be very subtle", he said.

AAA shared video of a drowsy driver behind the wheel, showing his auto cross the center lines on a highway and bump into a vehicle. Pulling into a rest stop and taking a quick catnap - at least 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes of sleep- can help to keep you alert on the road.

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501 (c)(3) charitable research and educational organization.

According to Schwind researchers studied the dash videos to examine drivers' faces in the last three minutes before the crashes took place.

AAA said warning signs of drowsiness include having trouble keeping your eyes open, drifting from your lane and not remembering the last few miles driven.

AAA says coffee, rolling down the windows and singing out loud won't keep you awake. "Your body's need for sleep will eventually override your brain's attempts to stay awake, so the only antidote for drowsiness is sleep".