2 Hours Less Sleep for Driver Nearly Doubles Crash Risk: Study

One in five fatal crashes every year involves drowsy driving, AAA said

Not getting enough sleep every night doubles the risk of crashes on the road, according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The study, released on Tuesday, states that drivers who get one to two hours less sleep than the recommended seven hours every night nearly double their risk of being involved in a crash.

“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,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 35 percent of drivers sleep less than seven hours. Also, one in five fatal crashes every year involves drowsy driving, AAA said.

The research also reported that sleeping only four to five hours more than quadrupled the crash risk—getting less than four hours of sleep, the risk went up 11.5 times.

Signs of drowsy driving include drifting from lanes and having trouble keeping eyes open, AAA said.

AAA Foundation recommends giving yourself a break every two hours on long drives, not eating heavy foods, traveling with people and taking turns driving.

The data used by the study was taken from the NHTA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey.

Contact Us