CHARLOTTE, N.C. – You’ve heard warnings over and over about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as texting and driving, but what about driving while tired?
According to a recent study from AAA, drowsy driving contributes to one in every 10 highway crashes. Researchers attributed sleepy drivers to over 1.2 million crashes and 8,000 fatalities last year.
The study determined that missing just one hour of sleep every night can have the same effect on a driver as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Both men and women are impacted by drowsy driving, with the average age being between 16 and 24 years old.
“Someone who is sleepy is just as dangerous as someone who is impaired, either on alcohol or drugs,” said one police officer.
Simply put, if you get behind the wheel without enough sleep, authorities say you’re putting everyone in danger. The repercussions of drowsy driving have been felt here in the Charlotte area recently.
In Cleveland County, a mother is facing charges after police said she fell asleep and crashed her SUV. The woman’s three children were injured in the crash, with one of the kids being thrown out of the flipping vehicle, troopers said.
Last December, a driver ran a stop sign on Dallas Cherryville Highway after nodding off, hitting another vehicle, killing the driver.