Drivers who miss one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk of a crash due to drowsy driving, according to research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 35% of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily.
And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences.
“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” says David Yang, executive director of the foundation. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable with someone driving drunk.”
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s report, “Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement,” released in December 2016, reveals that drivers missing two to three hours of sleep in a 24-hour period more than quadrupled their risk of a crash, compared with drivers getting the recommended seven hours of sleep. This is the same crash risk the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associates with driving over the legal limit for alcohol.