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You probably enjoyed getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend, but it can take your body clock a while to get back in its natural rhythm, which can prove dangerous on the roads.
After analyzing traffic accident data, researchers at Texas A&M University found there to be a 7 percent increase in traffic accidents in the week after daylight savings time. They also found that morning traffic accidents spike 14 percent in the week after we fall back or spring forward. This is especially concerning considering more than 1 in 5 fatal accidents involve a tired or sleeping driver, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
“This new research further confirms that drowsy driving is a serious traffic safety problem,” said Peter Kissinger, head of the AAA foundation. “Unfortunately, drivers often underestimate this risk and overestimate their ability to combat drowsiness behind the wheel.”
AAA researchers also determined that 1 in 3 auto accidents involving a tired driver resulted in a bodily injury, and more than 6,000 accidents involving a fatigued driver result in at least one death each year.
“Like distraction, there are limitations in relying on crash-involved drivers to realize, remember and willfully report their level of impairment,” said John B. Townsend II of AAA. “This study leveraged findings from trained crash investigators, as opposed to police reports, as a source of data.”
Interestingly, young drivers are actually the most aware that they sometimes “drive drowsy,” while older drivers over the age of 75 are the least likely to admit it.
“Despite the fact that 95 percent of Americans deem it ‘unacceptable’ to drive when they are so tired that they have a hard time keeping their eyes open, more than 28 percent admit to doing so in the last month,” Kissinger said.
Kissinger said AAA’s findings were based on an analysis of nearly 15,000 crashes between 2009-2013 in which at least one car was towed from the scene.
As we’ve mentioned before, drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of crashes in the United States. Simply put, make sure you get enough sleep each night, and stay extra attentive during the early morning hours this week. Oh, and if a tired driver gives you a love tap on your bumper, give Affordable Auto a call today.
Related source: Yahoo
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