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Drowsy drivers on the road cause an estimated 100,000 car crashes every year—5-6,000 of which are fatal—according to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which concedes these numbers may be a conservative estimate.
AAA conducted a survey of its members with alarming results—41% admitted to falling asleep or nodding off behind the wheel of a car, and 83% of its members believed that drowsy drivers pose a threat to their personal safety. With more people driving at night, the risk increases: drivers have been awake all day, it's dark out, and they have likely eaten something along the way—all a recipe for disaster.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that a driver who has been awake for 24 hours has fatigue impairment equal to someone with a blood alcohol content in excess of the legal limit, making drowsy driving every bit as lethal as drunk driving. Even two hours less sleep is enough to potentially impair your driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So if you are the least bit sleepy, or start to nod off, do everyone a favor and pull over. Rest for a bit. It could save your life and the life of someone else.
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