A report released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that drivers who sleep only five or six hours in a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who get seven hours of sleep or more. And the less sleep the person behind the wheel gets, the higher the crash rate, according to the findings. For instance, drivers in the study who got only four or five hours of shut-eye had four times the crash rate — close to what’s seen among drunken drivers.
Prior research has shown that about 20 percent of fatal accidents in the U.S. involve a drowsy driver. Last year, a total of 35,092 people died in auto accidents in the U.S, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This was a 7.2 percent increase in fatal crashes over 2014.
Takeaway: If you are parent of a teen, ensure that they have had enough sleep, before they take the wheels.