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Drowsy driving a big issue, especially this week

Drowsy driving a big issue, especially this week

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- With Daylight Saving Time now over Ohioans will be spending more time driving in the dark. This can lead to more tired eyes behind the wheel.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released new survey data showing drowsy driving remains prevalent, despite nearly universal disapproval among drivers. 95 percent of those surveyed believe it is unacceptable for someone to drive when they’re so sleepy they have trouble keeping their eyes open. Another 83 percent believe sleepy drivers pose a threat to their personal safety. However, more than 28 percent of licensed drivers have driven when they were so tired they struggled to keep their eyes open in the past 30 days.

"It's another one of those instances where it is 'do as I say and not as I do.' Drivers know that it's dangerous, but many are still doing it anyway," said AAA Ohio spokesperson Kimberly Schwind.

The survey found highest age group to admit to drowsy driving are drivers between 19 and 24. Drivers over the age of 75 and between the ages of 16 and 18 were least likely to drive while sleepy.

"They tend to self-regulate themselves or they're not on the roadway at times when they would be drowsy," said Schwind.

An estimated 17 percent of fatal crashes and 13 percent of crashes resulting in hospitalization involve a drowsy driver, according to a 2010 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

"Your reaction time is slowed, your vision is impaired, you have lapses in judgment very similar to drunk driving," Schwind said.

This is the National Sleep Foundation's Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

 

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