DAILY NEWS Nov 15, 2012 11:44 AM - 0 comments

Young drivers more likely to drive while drowsy: U.S. study

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Younger drivers are more likely to drive while drowsy, a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests.

One in seven licensed drivers ages 16 to 24 admitted to having fallen asleep at least once while driving in the past year, as compared to a tenth of all drivers who admitted to the same thing, according to the U.S. study.

Sleepy driver“Research shows that fatigue impairs safe driving, with many symptoms causing drivers to behave in ways similar to those who are intoxicated,” AAA president and CEO Robert Darbelnet noted in a statement of the survey findings.

The recent survey also suggests that 80% of people see drowsy driving as a serious threat to their personal safety, but many still drive while struggling to keep their eyes open.

“Unfortunately, most drivers underestimate the risks associated with drowsy driving and overestimate their ability to deal with it—that’s a dangerous combination,” AAA Foundation president & CEO Peter Kissinger said.

Drowsy driving signs can include trouble remembering the last kilometres driven or missing exits and traffic signs, drifitng from your lane and daydreaming.

In 2010, a AAA Foundation study of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash data estimated that young drivers were about 78% more likely to be drowsy at the time of a collision than drivers between 40 and 59.

That data also suggested that a sixth of deadly crashes involved a drowsy driver.

The U.S.-based National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week education campaign runs Nov. 12 to 18.

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