Drowsy driving may be the cause of 1 of 10 auto crashes

- Drowsy driving can be dangerous after 29 percent of surveyors admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open, according to a AAA study released Thursday.

A lack of sleep is the problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 35 percent of drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours per night. 

The AAA study also found drowsy driving plays a role in nearly eight times more severe accidents than federal estimates suggest. 

The study recruited more than 3,500 drivers from six places across the country, and found almost one of every 10 crashes resulted from drowsy driving. Those folks setup cameras in their cars for several months at a time from October 2010 to December 2013.

Hundreds of crashes occurred. The study narrowed 905 severe, moderate or minor crashes to 701 total crashes resulting from drowsy driving. The rest were due to visibility issues such as a sun glare or sunglasses.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed videos and found 9.5 percent of all crashes involved drowsy drivers, based on the portion of time the drivers’ eyes were closed in the minutes before a crash. The portion grows to 10.8 percent in more severe crashes.

About 30 percent of those crashes were severe enough to result in injury, rollover, airbag deployment or significant property damage. The rest generally weren’t severe enough to report to police.

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