Drowsy Driving and Factors Associated with Traffic Accidents: New Study

Getting behind the wheel to drive when you are not alert, awake or sober is never a good idea, but most of us have heard more about the affects of driving while intoxicated but little about driving while fatigued.

According to a new study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, on car accident factors in southwest France. The study showed there was little difference between driving sleepy or drunk. Both doubled the risk of causing a car accident. This information is largely significant for drivers and the public to be aware because it can save lives.

The study included 679 people who were hospitalized because of a car accident between 2007 and 2009 in France. According to the study, men and younger adults were more likely to drive while sleepy.

The researchers wrote: In conclusion, the main factors associated with being responsible for a crash resulting in serious injury were younger age and driving cars, but more important were alcohol ingestion and sleepiness at the wheel, which are synergic.

Even though the study was in France, driving drowsy isn’t unique to that European nation. CNN also reported on a AAA  poll, the results of which came out last year, showing that one in three people said they drove while they were drowsy in the last 30-day period.

Abstract and Letter are available online from the Archives of Internal Medicine

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