By Jennifer Geiger on November 12, 2012
Now that the sun is setting earlier, drivers are spending much more time in the dark. According to AAA, younger drivers are much more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than older motorists. The group's study found that one in seven drivers ages 16 to 24 have fallen asleep at the wheel at least once during the past year, compared with one in 10 older drivers.
Driving drowsy is deadly regardless of age. AAA estimates that about one out of six deadly crashes involves a drowsy driver. "Being awake for more than 20 hours results in impairment equal to a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the legal limit in all states," the National Sleep Foundation said in a statement.Warning signs that it's time to pull over and take a break include difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, heavy-feeling eyelids, trouble keeping your head up, unintentional swerving, not being able to remember the last few miles driven and feeling aggressive or irritable.
Below are the National Sleep Foundation's tips for preventing a sleep-related crash:
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer