A recent survey by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that younger drivers are more likely to fall asleep while driving.
The survey showed that one in seven licensed drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 admitted to falling asleep while driving at least once in the past year. The survey showed that one in 10 of all drivers admitted to nodding off during the same period of time.
The results presented similar data that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already calculated. According to an NHTSA study, drivers ages 16 to 24 were nearly 78 percent more likely to be drowsy at the time of a crash when compared to drivers ages 40 to 59.
Separate AAA data shows that one out of six deadly car accidents involve a drowsy driver, making it one of the leading causes to crashes.
"Research shows that fatigue impairs safe driving, with many symptoms causing drivers to behave in ways similar to those who are intoxicated," said AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet. "In preparation for the holiday driving season and with many young drivers heading home for Thanksgiving break, AAA is drawing attention to this often overlooked crash risk that is a serious threat to everyone's safety on the road."
The study also found that eight in 10 drivers feel drowsy motorists are a serious threat, many admitting to driving while tired themselves. Of the respondents, 30 percent said they had driven in the last 30 days even though they struggled to keep their eyes open while on the road.
Drivers who are drowsy exemplify the following signs: difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, daydreaming, yawning, rubbing eyes, trouble keep their head up , drifting into other lanes, swerving, inability to remember the last couple miles or missing exits or signs.
Prevent drowsy sleeping
Motorists are encouraged to get an adequate amount of sleep before hitting the road, especially if they know they are driving early in the morning. It is also important to take enough time to let your body wake up and not to have to rush to your destination.
If possible, use the buddy system. Have a friend there to help you stay awake or take over when you are too tired to keep driving.
Motorists should also take a break from driving after every 100 miles, or approximately every two hours and should pull over and take a nap if they are too tired to stay on the road.
Car owners are also encouraged to head to an auto body shop to have steering aligned before taking any trip and to have their brakes checked.