The media often places a lot of attention on the dangers of distracted or drunk driving, but these aren’t the only careless behaviors that can lead to car accidents. According to estimates made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 car accidents per year can be attributed to drowsy driving. As if that wasn’t enough proof, a new AAA study shows just how dangerous fatigued drivers can be on the roads.

The AAA Study on Drowsy Driving

AAA researched how drowsiness affects a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The results were astounding—AAA found that people who only slept for five or six hours the night before were twice as likely to be involved in an accident. But that’s not all. The study also looked at people who slept for fewer than five hours a night. According to this study, drivers who have slept four to five hours are more than four times as likely to be involved in an accident, and drivers who have slept less than four hours are 12 times more likely to be involved in a crash.

The results of this study may come as a surprise to many, especially because AAA concluded that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, but it shouldn’t. Most people are well aware that fatigue can lead to slower thought processing, impaired judgment, and blurry vision. All of these effects of sleepiness can make it very difficult to safely operate a motor vehicle. Yet many people still continue to get behind the wheel when they are struggling to stay awake. In fact, it has been reported that about one-third of drivers admit to driving when they could barely keep their eyes open.

Preventing Drowsy Driving Accidents

This study shows the importance of a good night’s sleep when it comes to keeping our roads safe. How many hours of sleep should drivers get before they have to hit the road? The more, the better, but it’s recommended that you never get behind the wheel if you have slept for less than seven hours.

If you plan on taking a long road trip, it’s best to bring someone along with you so you can take turns driving and prevent fatigue. Don’t rely on caffeinated products to keep you alert at the wheel. These products are designed to give you a quick boost of energy, but the effects will not last long and you will soon find yourself struggling to stay awake once again.

If you have been injured because of a drowsy driver, discuss your case with a Georgia attorney who is well versed in personal injury law. Frank Harris and his team of legal professionals will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation with Frank Harris by sending an email to or visiting the website You can also call our offices at 678-483-8655.