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AAA study finds drowsy-driving crashes more prevalent than thought

AAA study finds drowsy-driving crashes more prevalent than thought

The study narrowed the 905 severe, moderate or minor crashes to 701 because the driver's eyes weren't visible for reasons such as glare or sunglasses.

"Moreover, a driver who was drowsy before a crash may appear fully alert afterward and may be reluctant to volunteer to the police that he or she was drowsy", researchers said in the study.

A new report from AAA says that crashes caused by drowsy drivers are higher than federal estimates. They aren't meant to keep someone awake, just to let them know that they should probably pull over and get some rest, but a few of them, including several Mercedes-Benz models and the Cadillac CT6 with Super Cruise, can turn on the hazard lights and bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver is unresponsive.

About the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501 (c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. Crash videos were not made public. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users.

Almost 3,600 drivers volunteered to be recorded on video while driving, giving researchers actual evidence of dozing off behind the wheel. The study involved 3,500 drivers observed over several months. Using that, they determined that drowsiness was a factor in 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of property damage crashes.

Federal safety agencies are addressing Drowsy Driving.

Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment.

A 2016 NHTSA plan outlines 10 areas of study to combat drowsy driving. The driver told Pearce he'd slept about two hours the night before.

"For 10 years we've had to deal with her loss and not just the loss of who she was at 18 but the loss of the many years of who she would have become", Jennifer Pearce says about the loss of her sister.

"The results of this study stand in stark contrast to official statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration". The NTSB has lobbied for mandatory sleep disorder testing for train operators and professional drivers since 2001.

"As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless", AAA spokeswoman Jenifer Moore said in a news release.

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