As it is, as many as one-third of fatal motor vehicle accidents are due to drowsy driving. Now, a new study purports to show that even getting one hour of sleep less per night are more likely to practice driving while drowsy — about twice as often, in fact.

The study surveyed people’s sleep habits and driving habits. People who reported getting about six hours of sleep, or less, per night were twice as likely to drive while drowsy than people who got seven or more hours per night. And those who said they got five hours of sleep or less per night were four times more likely to be drowsy drivers.

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If this is accurate, the implications are quite clear. We all know that people who are well-rested after getting a full night of sleep are generally healthier than people who do not; however, this idea hasn’t always been extrapolated to the idea of accident prevention. If drivers knew that they could be safer — as could their fellow travelers — with more sleep every night, maybe they would make better efforts to ensure that this was the case.

Source: Men’s Fitness, “Short Sleepers Get Drowsy Behind the Wheel,” Ben Radding, Oct. 2, 2013

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