Experts say "drowsy driving" just as dangerous as drunk driving - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts say "drowsy driving" just as dangerous as drunk driving

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Experts warn drowsy driving increases following daylight savings. (WFSB) Experts warn drowsy driving increases following daylight savings. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

AAA is advising drivers to adjust not only their clocks, but also their habits to avoid falling asleep behind-the-wheel.

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who sleep six to seven hours a night are "twice as likely to be involved in a serious crash as those sleeping eight hours or more, while people sleeping less than five hours increased their risk four to five times". 

Studies show that fatal accidents increase during the week after daylight saving time change.

"Between the hour of lost sleep and some early St. Patty's Day celebrations, drivers may not be as alert as need be in the days following the time change" said AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter. "It is of particularly concern Monday morning, as many possibly sleepy commuters head off to work in the dark".

AAA recommends drivers adjust their sleeping habits to make up for the hour lost before they get back on the road. "Drowsy drivers" are involved in 21% of fatal crashes, experts say.

"We hear a lot about drunk driving, drugged driving and of course distracted driving. But 'drowsy' driving can also be deadly so daylight savings is a serious concern" says Parmenter.
 
According to the AAA Traffic Safety Culture Index, 97.0% of drivers view drowsy driving as an unsafe driving behavior. However, nearly 1 in 3 admit to driving "when they were so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open at some point in the past month".

The extra hour of daylight in the afternoon also means children, runners, cyclists and others will be out on the streets later. 

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