Are you getting enough sleep at night? If not, you may be putting yourself and others at risk while driving. A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study claims drivers who miss several hours of sleep per night significantly raise their risk of being involved in a car accident. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends seven hours of sleep per night. AAA’s study used seven hours as the ideal amount of sleep needed to prevent drowsy driving.
According to the data, people who receive five to six hours of sleep double the risk of a crash, while those who sleep less than four hours have 11.5 times the risk. Motorists who receive four to five hours of sleep are 4.3 times more likely to crash, the same risk as drunk drivers. AAA’s study also claims that people drive while tired despite knowing the risks. Study participants claimed drowsy driving was unacceptable, yet one in three reported dozing off while driving in the last month.
When you compare these numbers with statistics collected by the CDC, the results are alarming. According to CDC data from 2014, only 35 percent of U.S. adults receive seven hours of sleep per night. Unsurprisingly, the CDC estimates drowsy driving causes 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.
Are There Ways to Prevent Drowsy Driving?
People can prevent drowsy driving by getting enough sleep, having someone else drive, or pulling over and resting. However, new technologies and devices can offer an extra layer of protection for tired drivers.
Advicy Drive uses a small bracelet with a Bluetooth connection to monitor heartbeats. Once the device detects users falling asleep, they receive an alert from their phones. Forward collision warning systems and automatic braking may add another layer of protection for drivers. Some collision warning systems beep, flash lights or automatically brake to avoid crashing.
The car accident attorneys at Metier Law Firm, LLC wish everyone safe travels during the holiday season.