A report released this week says that driving on less than 7 hours of sleep each night significantly increases the risk of a crash. This sounds like common sense, but the data makes the gravity of drowsy driving much more real.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed thousands of accidents with injuries and found that drivers were 1.3 times more likely to be a part of an accident when sleep deprived, even by as little as an hour. The risk increases to 1.9 times more likely when the drivers missed two of the recommended seven hours. The more sleep deprived you are, the better chance you have of being involved in a crash. The study found the following:
- 1.9 times more likely for five to six hours of sleep per night
- 4.3 times more likely for four to five hours of sleep per night
- 11.5 times more likely for less than four hours of sleep per night
This increased risk makes driving while fatigued almost as dangerous as driving while tipsy. Signs of driver fatigue include drifting into other lanes, trouble keeping one’s eyes open, slower reaction times, stiff muscles, impatience/increased road rage, and forgetting miles driven.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may be putting yourself and others on the road in danger. In addition to making lifestyle changes (less caffeine, reducing stress, avoiding TV/computer/phone time before bed and more), talk to a doctor about what you can do to get more sleep.
At American Pride Automotive, we care about your safety! Take care on the road and get some rest this holiday season. We’ll be here for all of your car care and auto repair needs.