A good night's sleep is important, especially the night before you hit the road. A recent report suggests that getting just one hour less of sleep than the minimum recommended seven hours may nearly double your risk of getting in an accident the next day.
Photo by Ernest.
We've long known that driving while drowsy can be dangerous, but it this new report — based on a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety — suggests not getting enough sleep may be more dangerous for drivers than we thought. When compared to drivers who normally sleep seven hours every night, drivers who get only five to six hours each night reported being involved in 1.9 times as many accidents. Drivers who only got four to five hours were involved in 4.3 times as many accidents, and those who slept less than four or five hours each night reported having accidents 11.5 times as many.
Of course, the report has some limitations worth noting. Data on sleep was self-reported, the data set for drivers sleeping less than five hours was limited, and the study did not include use of drugs or alcohol. That said, the data also did not include any reported car accidents that occurred between midnight and 6 AM. So driving while sleep deprived may be even more dangerous at night when visibility is limited and your internal clock is telling you to catch some Zs. Do everybody a favour and get some rest. You can read the full report at the link below.
Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement [AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety via Science of Us]