AAA Study: Drowsy Driving As Risky As Drunk Driving

The CBS Evening News (12/6, story 9, 1:50, Pelley) broadcast on a new AAA study released Tuesday suggesting “that getting behind the wheel on four or five hours’ sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk.” According to the broadcast, a little over one in three drivers in the US does not get “the recommended seven hours of sleep daily,” and those who do get “just five or six hours” are “almost twice as likely to be involved in an accident.” As a driver’s hours of sleep decreased, the risk of an accident increased exponentially, with “teenagers, older adults, and people who have a sleep debt” at “the highest risk.”

        Reuters (12/6) reports the study used NHTSA crash data from July 2005 through December 2007. The Washington Post (12/6, Halsey) cites NHTSA’s statistics for traffic fatalities last year, when “35,092 people were killed…up 7.2 percent from 32,675 in 2014.” The executive director of AAA, David Yang, says “You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel.”