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Sleep-Deprived Drivers Have A Lot In Common With Drunk Drivers


Individuals who get behind the wheel after sleeping less are similar to those who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol and are not able to drive properly.

According to research done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and data available for the past studies revealed the risks that are linked to driving without sleeping enough are high. The findings were made public on Tuesday, which showed the dangers of getting behind the wheel without sleeping properly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 35 percent of individuals don’t sleep for seven hours, which is required for being active and 12 percent individuals sleep for just 5 hours after a hectic work routine.

A research which was done previously by the AAA Foundation showed that the reason for 21 percent of deadly accidents were sleep-deprived drivers who didn’t sleep enough and were tired. The group is struggling to know about the reduction in ability of driving based on the lack of sleep for which the group is getting help from data provided by National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey.

The chance of an accident is more when sleep is less.

According to David Yang, executive director for the foundation, “You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel. Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

Some people feel proud and satisfied of driving properly after not sleeping for 7 hours, but research done by the foundation proved them wrong as they determined 4,571 accidents were caused by non-sleepers.

The research report says the risk of individuals causing an accident is 11.5%, who sleep for less than 4 hours. The risk of crashing of a person is 4.4% who sleeps for 5 to 7 hours and those who sleep properly for 8 hours have the lowest crash risk which is just 1.4 percent.

It is also said, “The study may underestimate the risk of driving while sleep-deprived, because data on crashes that occurred between midnight and 6 a.m. were not available, and other studies have shown that the effects of sleep deprivation. . . are greatest during the early morning hours.”

It is said by the researching group that getting behind the wheel after getting 5 hours of sleep is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC level above the legal limit for driving.

According to Tom Calcagni, of AAA’s Mid-Atlantic office, “The crash risk associated with having slept less than 4 hours of sleep is comparable to the crash risk associated with a [blood alcohol content] of roughly 0.12- 0.15.”

The researchers also looked at whether the alteration in the sleeping schedule affected the thinking ability and became the reason of the accident.

Long-haul truckers, medical service providers, and cops are among those who usually have fractured schedules. The research findings included that there appeared to be a causal relationship in more than 6 percent of accidents.

A survey conducted by AAA found that 97 percent of motorists thought that it was not safe to drive while drowsy; about a third of them accepted that in the past month they had driven “when they were so tired they had a hard time keeping their eyes open.”

In 2015, 35,092 individuals lost their lives in road accidents. The rate is 7.2 percent higher than the previous year as 32,675 individuals died in 2014, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After the death rate decline for 5 years, the death rate increased in 2015.

News Source: www.WashingtonPost.com

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