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AAA Study Finds One in Five Fatal Accidents Involves Drowsy Driver

The roadways are one of the most dangerous places in the entire world. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people lost their lives in 2014 due to motor vehicle crashes across the United State. Last year, NHTSA reports that the fetal crash rate rose from 7.2% from 2014. There are many […]

AAA Study Finds One in Five Fatal Accidents Involves Drowsy Driver

The roadways are one of the most dangerous places in the entire world. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people lost their lives in 2014 due to motor vehicle crashes across the United State. Last year, NHTSA reports that the fetal crash rate rose from 7.2% from 2014.

There are many factors that go into the millions of accidents that happen each year, including roadway conditions, distracted drivers, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and plain mistakes. A new American Automobile Association (AAA) study finds that drowsy driving actually is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

“If you have not slept seven or more hours in a given 24-hour period, you really shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a car,” said Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA.

NPR reports that the study suggests drivers who sleep for only five or six hours a night are twice as likely to crash as drivers who had a full nights sleep.

“Sleep is a bigger priority for me now,” said Karen Roberts, a Cincinnati nurse who caused an accident a few years ago after falling asleep behind the wheel. Sleep is not a luxury, Roberts added, but a “necessity.”

According to CBS News, Kerrie Warne’s 18-year-old son, Tyler, was killed after he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree.

“I knew about texting and driving and distracted driving and joy riding and cell phones and impaired driving, drunk driving,” said Kerrie. “All of those things we’re educated about, but not once was there a conversation about young adults and drowsy driving.”

Nelson states in the AAA report that one in five fatal crashes involves a driver who hadn’t earned enough sleep the night before and was subsequently drowsy.

AAA stresses that drivers should take naps throughout the day to catch up on the recommended seven hours. Passengers should also make sure the driver is focused and alert at all times.

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