Young drivers are more likely to drive drowsy according to the American Automobile Association. Making the statement at the start of the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that according to one of its recent surveys one in seven drivers from 16 to 24 years old said that he or she had fallen asleep while driving at least one time in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, only one in 10 of all drivers had admitted to the same thing.
Talking about this, AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger, brother of Henry, said, “Unfortunately, most drivers underestimate the risks associated with drowsy driving and overestimate their ability to deal with it – that’s a dangerous combination.”
Agreeing with Kissinger, AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet said, “Research shows that fatigue impairs safe driving, with many symptoms causing drivers to behave in ways similar to those who are intoxicated.”
This is stunning news indeed. Colloquially, people have often equated drowsy driving with drunk driving, but to have the AAA CEO validate this through research is another thing altogether.
What can be done? The AAA recommends that drivers get more than enough sleep before long journeys and to try not to drive during times that they’d normally be snuggling with their pillow. Caffeine is not the answer; it is better to actually pull over and get out of the vehicle than to load up on Red Bulls and coffees.