2016 Research Suggests Drowsy Driving Poses Greater Accident Risk

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NBC Nightly News
Tamron Hall/Tom Costello
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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2016 research by the American Automobile Association (AAA) suggests that your risk of having a car accident climbs exponentially as you miss more hours of sleep.



"2016 Research Suggests Drowsy Driving Poses Greater Accident Risk." Tom Costello, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 6 Dec. 2016. NBC Learn. Web. 11 January 2020.


Costello, T. (Reporter), & Hall, T. (Anchor). (2016, December 6). 2016 Research Suggests Drowsy Driving Poses Greater Accident Risk. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=109383


"2016 Research Suggests Drowsy Driving Poses Greater Accident Risk" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 12/06/2016. Accessed Sat Jan 11 2020 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=109383


2016 Research Suggests Drowsy Driving Poses Greater Accident Risk

TAMRON HALL, anchor:

There's news tonight for anyone who struggles to get enough sleep, working double shifts, students cramming at night, or as we talked about here last night, people just struggling with insomnia. New research from AAA suggests if you miss just a couple of hours of sleep, your risk of having an accident starts climbing fast. And twenty percent of all fatal accidents are thought to involve drowsy driving. Here's NBC's Tom Costello.

TOM COSTELLO, reporting:

It's the kind of close call a lot of drivers can relate to.


COSTELLO: A lack of sleep, and suddenly--


KAREN ROBERTS: Your eyelids get heavy, and it's like you go into a fog.

COSTELLO: The decision to drive drowsy has haunted Karen Roberts for years. A new nursing-school graduate, she hadn't slept in twenty-four hours when she got off her Christmas shift at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. But on her way home she fell asleep and crashed at this intersection, suffering a severe brain injury, her left side paralyzed.

ROBERTS: I was in a coma for nine days, and then I was in the hospital for two months.

COSTELLO: Now new research from AAA suggests your risk of an accident jumps exponentially with each hour of lost sleep. While most adults need at least seven hours a night, more than a third of us don't get it. Drivers going on five to six hours of sleep are nearly twice as likely to crash. On four to five hours, four times more likely to crash. Less than four hours, the effects are similar to drunk driving 11 times more likely to crash. The trouble is many of us are sleep-deprived and just missing an hour or two on a single night, and the risk of having an accident can rise dramatically.

JAKE NELSON: So when we nod off and it feels like all you've done is blink and nod. You've been asleep for two to three seconds.

COSTELLO: Today, Karen still suffers from debilitating headaches and double vision that make full-time work almost impossible, her only wish that so many years ago, she'd pulled over and taken a nap. Tom Costello, NBC News, Washington.