A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown an increase in fatal car accidents, emphasizing the number of accidents related to sleep deprivation observed from about 4,571 crashes. A staggering 21 percent of all crashes involve at least one driver without the recommended 7 hours of sleep. About 35 percent of people get less than 7 hours of sleep, with each hour less contributing to the raised likelihood of a crash. For example, the study showed that there was a spike of 11.5 percent for anyone who had gotten less than 4 hours of sleep. It is speculated that about 4 hours of sleep or less is equivalent to a blood alcohol content level of about .12-.15. The legal driving limit is .08.
Most drivers agree that driving while sleep-deprived is not acceptable, but over a third of drivers from a separate AAA study said that they had driven while severely impaired, stating it as so bad they “had a hard time keeping their eyes open.” AAA stressed that this type of driving is typically isolated by careers with truckers, nurses, and police personnel as the biggest offenders of driving while tired, but anyone with a fractured schedule is at risk.