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Get your zzz’s! Missing 1-2 hours of sleep doubles crash risk

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily.

With drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

The AAA Foundation report found that in a 24-hour period, crash risk for sleep-deprived drivers increased steadily when compared to drivers who slept the recommended seven hours or more:

• Six to seven hours of sleep: 1.3 times the crash risk

• Five to six hours of sleep: 1.9 times the crash risk

• Four to five hours of sleep: 4.3 times the crash risk

• Less than four hours of sleep: 11.5 times the crash risk

Symptoms of drowsy driving can include having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes or not remembering the last few miles driven.

Click here for more information and tips to avoid driving tired.