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Drowsy Driving More Dangerous Than Previously Thought: Research

Turns out driving drowsy may be more dangerous than previously thought, according to new research.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, recent research discovered that the "percentage of crashes involving drowsiness is nearly eight times higher than federal estimates."

"Drivers who don’t get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk," Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a statement.

Researchers, who spent time taking a look at footage of drivers' faces before a crash occurred, found that 9.5 percent of all crashes and 10.8 percent of crashes that ended with "significant" damage involved drowsiness. Federal estimates suggest that only one to two percent of crashes involve drowsy drivers, according to the study.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 35 percent of drivers in the United States sleep less than seven hours, which is the "recommended minimum."

"As many Americans struggle to balance their busy schedules, missing a few hours of sleep each day can often seem harmless," Mike Blasky, a spokesman for AAA Northern California, said in a statement. "But missing just two to three hours of sleep can more than quadruple your risk for a crash,which is the equivalent of driving drunk."

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