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Lack of Sleep Can Double Crash Risk

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A recent study was able to prove that people who get sleep for less than 7 hours might be at risk for accidents. In this study, it was found out that drivers who miss one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep can double their risk for a car crash. These findings were declared by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously mentioned that around 35% of drivers in the US often sleep less than the recommended seven hours of sleep every day. Also, it has been noted that drowsy driving is responsible for more than one in five crashes on roadways in the US every year. This is why AAA is currently warning drivers that if they get sleep for less than seven hours per day, they may have deadly consequences.

According to Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one simply cannot miss slip and still be able to function well behind the wheel. This new research is able to show that a driver who has slept less than five hours per day may have a crash risk that is similar to that of someone who is driving drunk.

Sleep deprivation and crash risk

In their recent report Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that drivers who miss two to three hours of sleep within 24 hours can increase their risk of a crash for more than four times as compared to drivers who sleep for 7 hours or more a day. This crash risk is similar to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The AAA Foundation mentioned that within 24 hours, the crash risk for drivers who lacked sleep increased steadily when compared to those who slept for seven hours or more. Those who sleep for 6-7 hours in a day have a 1.3 times crash risk, while those who sleep for 5-6 hours of sleep have a 1.9 times crash risk. Those who sleep for four to five hours has a 4.3 times crash risk while those who have less than four hours of sleep has a 11.5 times crash risk.

While majority of 97% of drivers told the foundation that they do not accept drowsy driving as good behavior, one in three of them also admit that at least once in the past month they were so tired that they drove with almost their eyes closed due to drowsiness.

The authors concluded that while managing healthy life-work balance is difficult so that sleep becomes sacrificed, we should maintain a healthy sleep schedule to keep ourselves free from road accidents.