Study Shows Driving on 5 Hours of Sleep is Like Driving Drunk

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In a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, when drivers only get five to six hours of sleep, they are 1.9 times more likely to get in a wreck. They say this can be as dangerous as driving drunk. When people get less than four hours of sleep, their risk increases to 11.5 times.

KHOU quotes Jake Nelson, director of Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research for AAA, as saying, “Managing a healthy work-life balance can be difficult, and far too often, we sacrifice our sleep as a result. Failing to maintain a healthy sleep schedule could mean putting yourself or others on the road at risk.”

The Sleep Foundation says that if you feel your eyelids getting heavy and you find your self-forgetting the last few miles while driving, it may be best to pull over for a while. Hitting the rumble strip on the shoulder or drifting into lanes should also be a big indicator that you’re far too tired to drive. They state that pulling over and taking a 20-minute nap along with a 15 minute wake-up period might be your best option if you’re traveling alone, but if you can, switch drivers every two hours and allow each other to nap in between driving periods.