Study: Drowsy drivers involved in 17% of fatal crashes

While Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood focuses on gadgets that cause distraction for drivers, a new study says that driving while drowsy and falling asleep at the wheel is responsible for more deadly crashes than previously believed.

A study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that one in six fatal crashes, close to 17 percent, involves a drive that is lacking from sleep. The figure is about four to five times higher than previous studies have found. The report said that one in eight crashes that result in serious injury involve a drowsy driver.

“People need to be honest with themselves, be aware of the symptoms and recognize the dangers of driving while drowsy,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “People often overestimate their ability to deal with it.”

The study was based on the AAA Foundation”s 2010 Traffic Safety Culture Index, a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 residents in the United States.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: NYT