New study reveals that drivers who have less than five hours sleep are as dangerous as a drunk driver on the roads
A new study has revealed that drivers who don’t get a proper night’s sleep are as dangerous on the roads as a drunk driver.
The study was carried out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, who looked at what effect tiredness can have on a driver and according to their findings, missing out on a few hours sleep and then driving the morning after doubles the risk of having an accident, when compared to drivers who managed to sleep for seven hours or more – sleep experts recommend seven to nine hours a night.
According to the study, not getting enough sleep shows comparable effects to that of a drunk – reaction times slow down and our attention span becomes shorter.
It’s estimated by the Sleep Council that one third of people in the UK only sleep for five to six hours a night, meaning their risk of crashing is increased to 1.9 times the normal.
Out of one in ten road fatalities in the UK, the driver being over tired has been found to be a contributing cause.
The AA recently released a report which discovered that one in 7 British drivers confessed to frequently suffering from memory blanks whilst behind the wheel of a vehicle and an alarming 15% of drivers said they had no recollection of the end of their journey.
Executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Dr David Yang, said: “You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel.”
The president of the AA, Edmund King, said that an estimated 10% of motorway fatalities in the UK could have occurred because the driver has fallen asleep at the wheel. The most common instances are collisions involving a single vehicle and slower reaction times leading to drivers running into the back of another vehicle.
The risk of crashing depends on the amount of sleep a driver manages to get. Motorists having 6-7 hours of sleep a night put themselves at 1.3 times the normal risk level for crashing and drivers only sleeping for less than four hours a night put themselves at 11.5 times the normal risk of having an accident.
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