Drivers who deprive themselves of one to two hours of the suggested seven hours of sleep a night are two times as likely to be involved in a traffic collision, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The 2016 study revealed that drivers who missed two to three hours of sleep in a 24-hour period were four times as likely to crash their vehicle compared to those who slept for the recommended seven hours. Researchers analyzed data taken from a sample pool of 7,234 drivers who were involved in 4,751 collisions.

Officials who worked on the study concluded that a driver who gets behind the wheel after sleeping less than five hours is similar to an individual operating a vehicle while impaired.

Disturbing Report Findings

With more than five fatal collisions annually attributed to drowsy driving, the AAA Foundation has warned that drivers who get less than the recommended seven hours may encounter deadly results on the road.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 35 percent of U.S. drivers do not receive the recommended seven hours each day and this reality could contribute to auto accident deaths.

The AAA Foundation’s report analyzed drivers who had not received the recommended amount of sleep within a 24 hour period and found that their crash chance increased significantly. The findings include:

  • Less than four hours of sleep: 11.5 times
  • Four to five hours of sleep: 4.3 times
  • Five to six hours of sleep: 1.9 times
  • Six to seven hours: 1.3 times

Although 97 percent of drivers polled told the AAA Foundation that drowsy driving was unacceptable and threatens safety, almost one third st