Drowsy driving is a major problem, study shows

November 7, 2013 12:00 AM

The complications that arise from distracted driving are well documented, but the effects of drowsy driving are often ignored. However, this type of dangerous behavior is more widespread than some may think, and there are numerous problems that may arise as a result of getting behind the wheel while sleepy. 

According to a recent study from the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety, about 28 percent of drivers reported being so tired that they struggled to keep their eyes open while driving at least once in the past month. Younger drivers ages 19 to 24 were most likely to report driving drowsy, with about 33 percent admitting to it. 

"Many of us are so worn out from our work and family obligations, yet we downplay our fatigue and stay behind the wheel even when we should stop for a rest," said Jake Nelson, the AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. "We should consider the dangers whenever we attempt to push our driving to the limits. We can protect ourselves and everyone else on the road by recognizing the simple signs of fatigue." 

Although the best course of action is to avoid drowsy driving completely, there are some other steps you can take to increase your safety on the roads. Taking a car in for scheduled maintenance is a must, as these tune ups can identify areas of need, such as brake repair, that should be completed before you get behind the wheel.

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