If you’ve ever felt tired behind the wheel, you’re not alone. Many American drivers can barely keep their eyes open, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index.
More than one in three drivers report dozing off while on the road and more than one in 10 have admitted to doing this within the past year. These statistics alone are concerning, but it gets worse. Drowsy drivers are involved in an estimated one in five fatal crashes. Yikes!
There is a growing awareness of this problem. In fact, in December 2016, the Foundation released a new report that provides a close look at this reality. Drivers who get one to two hours of sleep less than the recommended average of seven hours of sleep per night are more at risk for accidents. And those who work varying shifts can be at risk too, since they often have disrupted sleep cycles.
Of course–just like other dangerous behaviors–the more people are aware the more they can take precautions. Getting seven or eight hours of sleep at night and not relying on caffeine to keep you awake is good practice. If you’re you’re driving solo and have a long road trip ahead, make plans to pull over and rest. Don’t be a statistic!