Study: More drivers asleep at the wheel than you realize
09 February, 2018, 03:44
This dash cam video shows what can happen when there's a exhausted driver at the wheel.
And the problem gets worse when darkness falls.
Drowsiness was a factor in almost one-tenth of the crashes suffered by 3,593 drivers who agreed to have video cameras and other monitors placed in their personal vehicles, AAA said in a report conducted by its Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The researchers continuously monitored more than 3,500 people from six locations across the U.S. for several months between October 2010 and December 2013, using in-vehicle cameras and other equipment.
The video showed researchers that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes resulting in significant property damage involved drowsiness. AAA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently worked together to update that information.
In 2016, an estimated six percent of Idaho's single-vehicle crashes were caused by drivers that nodded off.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adds that 35 percent of US drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours of sleep daily.
To Lisa Endee, a clinical assistant professor who studies sleep at Stony Brook University's Respiratory Care and Polysomnographic Technology programs, the report echoes her own research that found the risks of drowsiness have been underemphasized.
"Drowsy driving looks a lot like drunk driving", he says. He told Tucson News Now drivers are heavily regulated and their sleep scheduled are often calculated. "It can be hard for law enforcement to determine that drowsy driving has occurred after a crash; some drivers are reluctant to say that they fell asleep behind the wheel".
A 2012 study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that sleepiness while driving carried nearly as much risk as alcohol ingestion. "The only medicine that really works when you're exhausted is to pull over and get some sleep". "You know, when your body needs sleep, it just needs sleep".
A report published by the CDC found that more than a third of adults in the United States reported getting fewer than seven hours of sleep daily.
These days, Pearce wears a Fitbit fitness tracker to constantly make sure she's getting enough sleep-at least the recommended seven hours.