The dangers of driving while drowsy

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A new study shows that drowsy driving can have the same crash risk as drunk driving.

Drivers who miss one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep, nearly double their risk of crashing, according to AAA.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 35 % of drivers are regularly getting less than seven hours of sleep, and the less sleep, the greater risk on the road.

There are signs of drowsy driving like heavy eyelids, drifting across lanes and not remembering the last few miles driven, but AAA warns people not to rely on these symptoms to signal when you need to pull over.

More than half of drivers in fatigue-related crashes experienced no symptoms.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to safely function behind the wheel. This study underscores that,” said John Townsend, Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

For long trips, drivers are reminded to schedule breaks every two hours, avoid heavy foods and travel with an alert passenger.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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