Too Little Sleep Doubles Driving Danger
Most of us know driving while drowsy can be dangerous, but according to a new study, missing just an hour or two of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly doubles your risk for a car crash. The report—from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety—also indicates that a driver who gets fewer than four hours of sleep in a day is 11 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash.
A lack of sleep reduces concentration and the ability to pay attention while driving. Drowsiness also slows reaction times and affects our ability to make quick decisions. According to an earlier survey by AAA, 97 percent of drivers realize that drowsy driving puts people at risk on the roads. In spite of this, 1 in 3 report they have driven while drowsy and 1 in 25 report they have fallen asleep while driving within the past month.
Driving drowsy after fewer than 5 hours of sleep within a 24-hour period is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol, according to researchers. Warning signs that it's time to pull over and rest include frequent yawning or blinking, difficulty keeping your eyes open, problems remembering the past few miles you’ve driven, missing your exit, and lane drifting, but the Foundation warns that more than half of drowsy drivers involved in car crashes don’t experience symptoms before nodding off at the wheel.
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