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AAA warns of dangers of 'drowsy driving'
February 19 2018, 07:51 | Irvin Gilbert
Study: More drivers asleep at the wheel than you realize
"It can be hard for law enforcement to determine that drowsy driving has occurred after a crash; some drivers are reluctant to say that they fell asleep behind the wheel".
The difficulty in detecting drowsiness following a crash makes drowsy driving one of the most under reported traffic safety issues, according to AAA.
Pearce says everyone in the vehicle fell asleep, including the driver who drifted and slammed into a tree.
"I think that underscores the significance of this safety concern on the road", said AAA's William Horrey.
According to the report, 10 percent of all vehicle crashes are linked to driving while drowsy.
Government figures show 35 percent of USA drivers don't get the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep every night. New findings released by AAA confirms that the rate of drowsy driving may be up to eight times higher than earlier government estimates. In a recent related AAA Foundation survey, 29 percent of drivers admitted to driving when they were so exhausted they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month.
When researchers analyzed more than 700 crashes caught on tape, they found signs of drowsy driving in roughly 10 percent. Previous estimates put the numbers around 1 to 2 percent.
"Missing just two to three hours of sleep is a serious sleep deprivation situation and can leave a person in a condition similar to being drunk", says Sinclair.
Do not underestimate the power of a quick nap.
"It's important for drivers to avoid placebos like drinking caffeine, rolling down the window, or singing along to music as methods to fight drowsiness", Conde said.
According to Schwind researchers studied the dash videos to examine drivers' faces in the last three minutes before the crashes took place.
To help prevent drowsy driving AAA recommends to travel during times when you're normally awake, avoid eating heavy foods before driving, and to avoid medications that cause drowsiness and other impairments.