AAA: Drowsy Driving Study Shows Alarming Results

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LUZERNE COUNTY -- Results of a new study show being sleepy behind the wheel is a much bigger problem than federal estimates -- eight times worse.

This research study used in-vehicle dashcam video of more than 700 crashes. The video examined the faces of the drivers three minutes leading up to the wrecks.

The study shows that 9.5 percent of all crashes can be attributed to drowsiness.

Many of us have experienced that hopeless feeling before. You're driving behind the wheel and all of a sudden, your eyes start to flutter. The fatigue quickly sets in.

According to a new study by AAA, that feeling is a common cause of accidents on the road.

Aaa found that 9.5 percent of all crashes involved drowsiness.

One crane driver Newswatch 16 spoke with at a rest stop along Interstate 81 says he feels that fatigue behind the wheel is a dangerous issue.

"You just lose control and that's it. People should take precautions at rest stops and things like that. Yeah, drowsiness is a big issue, I believe," William Kerr said.

AAA recommends that drivers take a break every two hours or 100 miles. Drivers Newswatch 16 spoke with, who are on the road often say that breaks are essential.

"I think that if people don't stop about every two hours, they're in trouble. If they drive any more than nine hours, they have major problems. I see it on I-75, I see it on I-81. People don't pay attention, they get locked in and just go all over the road," Dennis Gibson said.

"If I get started at 7 in the morning, maybe by 9 or 9:30 I get a little drowsy. I usually stop for a break at that time, grab a cup of coffee, then I'm pretty good for the rest of the day," Kerr said.

One woman from York isn't totally buying the study. She thinks there are other issues that led to the crashes.

"I think there are other things that we should worry about other than drowsiness. I think there are other things that cause the accidents more than drowsiness," Myke Warner said.

AAA also says that even a 20-minute power nap can help keep you alert and awake on the road. It also recommends that you avoid heavy foods before driving or any medication that can lead to drowsiness.


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