A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who miss one to two of the recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double the risk of a crash. Drivers who miss two to three hours of sleep increase the risk of crash by more than four times—that is the same crash risk the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associates with drivers who operate over the legal alcohol limit.
Nearly one in three drivers surveyed admitted to driving at least once in the previous month while they were so tired that they could barely keep their eyes open.
Symptoms of drowsy driving include drifting from lanes, not remembering the last few miles driven, and having trouble keeping your eyes open. However, AAA recommends not waiting until the symptoms start to get off the road; drivers should prioritize sleep instead. To stay awake and alert on longer trips, AAA recommends that drivers travel at a time of day when they are normally awake, schedule a break every two hours or 100 miles, take turns driving with a passenger and avoid heavy foods.
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Published December 19, 2016