There's a good reason why you should catch up on some zzz's, especially if you plan on getting behind the wheel the day after. A 1- or 2-hour difference in your sleep pattern may lead to a car crash, new study suggests. Drowsy driving is linked to a high risk of road accident.
Drowsy Driving Is The Same As Drunk Driving
A new research conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers who only get five hours of sleep or less double the risk for crash. Drowsy driving is linked in more than one in five fatal crashes in the U.S. every year, Kfor.com reported.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Executive Director, Dr. David Yang, said: "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."
Do Not Rely On Your Body To Provide Signs Of Fatigue
Researchers noted that people who slept for four to five hours before driving are 4.3 times more likely to experience crash risks, while those who slept for less than four hours are 11.5 times more likely to crash compared to drivers who slept for at least seven hours.
Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA, said: "Managing a healthy work-life balance can be difficult, and far too often we sacrifice our sleep as a result. Failing to maintain a healthy sleep schedule could mean putting yourself or others on the road at risk."
According to Independent, more than half of drivers who were involved in fatigue-related car crashes felt no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel. AAA said drivers should not rely on their bodies to provide warning signs of fatigue, and should always get at least seven hours of sleep before driving.