If you drive after sleeping just five or six hours, your risk of a crash is almost twice as high compared to someone who drives after getting the recommended seven hours of sleep, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s new report.
The foundation also found that if you drive after sleeping fewer than five hours, you have the same risk of getting into an accident as a drunk driver.
The report, titled Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement, revealed the odds of an accident increased as hours of sleep decreased:
- The odds of an accident increased to 1.3 for six to seven hours of sleep
- The odds increased to 1.9 for five to six hours of sleep
- The odds increased to 4.3 on four to five hours of sleep
- The odds increased to 11.5 with fewer than four hours of sleep
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 35 percent of drivers say they often fail to get seven hours of sleep.
Also, one in three drivers told AAA there was at least one time in the past 30 days when they had trouble keeping their eyes open behind the wheel.
Sadly, if these drivers are involved in a crash, there is a greater likelihood they will not survive, as one in five fatal crashes involves a drowsy driver.
AAA created the report after analyzing data on more than 4,500 accidents from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey.
Signs You Are Too Tired To Drive
Drowsy drivers often exhibit the following symptoms:
- Struggling to keep their eyes open
- Drifting out of their lane
- Forgetting the last few miles they have traveled
These are all signs you might fall asleep at the wheel, increasing the risk of a dangerous accident.
However, you should not plan to watch for these symptoms instead of trying to get seven hours of sleep every night. Approximately 50 percent of drowsy drivers involved in accidents experienced none of these symptoms before they fell asleep while driving.
Victims of drowsy driving accidents could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Contact our auto accident attorneys today for a free legal consultation. We have helped many victims of crashes recover fair compensation.