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Sleep Deprivation Impact on Motor Vehicle Crashes

Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement Study

Brian C. Tefft, the Senior Research Associate of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently published the results of his study.ย  Tefft, compared the acute sleep deprivation of Americans and it’s association with motor vehicle crashes in the United States. According to the study, sleep deprivation has been shown to slow reactions to stimuli, decrease the accuracy of responses, and lead to long lapses in attention (Lim & Dinges, 2008), all of which clearly have negative implications for safe driving.

The results of the study indicate that drivers who had less than 5 hours of sleep daily, drivers who have slept for less than 7 hours in the past 24 hours, and drivers who have slept for 1 or more hours less than their usual amount of sleep in the past 24 hours have significantly elevated crash rates. The estimated rate ratio for crash involvement associated with driving after only 4-5 hours of sleep compared with 7 hours or more is similar to the U.S. governmentโ€™s estimates of the risk associated with driving with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or slightly above the legal limit for alcohol in the U.S.

Drowsy Driving Flow Chart

For Tefft’s complete study, visit the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Click here for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Acute Sleep Deprivation and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement Fact Sheet.

 

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