AAA says: More Drivers Asleep at the Wheel Than You Might Think

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She's comforted that it seems more and more people are recognizing drowsy driving as a problem.

Using footage of everyday drivers, researcher found the percentage of crashes involving drowsiness are nearly eight times higher than federal estimates indicate, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said Thursday.

"They are looking for cues such as the droopiness of the eyes or the amount of eye closures that were being observed", said William Horrey with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

AAA researchers studied videos from cameras mounted in cars of 3,500 drivers looking for signs of fatigue. "The only factor is he feel asleep", she said of the driver, who along with the other two passengers recovered from their injuries.

After analyzing thousands of dash cam videos similar to these, reserchers determined almost ten percent of crashes can be blamed on drowsy driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has pegged drowsiness as a factor in 1.4 percent of all crashes reported to the police.

AAA Study: driving drowsy quadruples chances of getting in a crash

"For 10 years we've had to deal with her loss and not just the loss of who she was at 18, but the loss of the many years and who she would have become", Pearce said.

If getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night sounds more like a luxury, researchers say keep in mind the risk is greatest at night.

AAA shared video of a drowsy driver behind the wheel, showing his auto cross the center lines on a highway and bump into a vehicle.

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501 (c)(3) charitable research and educational organization.

"The coffee, the rolling down the windows, all of that stuff doesn't necessarily work", said Haugh. "You know it's time to pull over and maybe take a 20 minute cat nap in a rest area".

AAA recommends that drivers should travel at the times of day when they are normally awake, avoid heavy foods and avoid medication that causes drowsiness or other impairment.

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