According to Yahoo! Health, a person’s typical sleep routine can predict the individual’s likelihood of having an auto accident.
The Association for Psychological Science has highlighted two European studies that examined the connection between routine sleep habits and poor driving skills. The first author, Frank P. McKenna of the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, gathered 7,075 experienced drivers (4,000 men and 3,075 women) and instructed them to fill out numerous surveys that focused on “risky driving behaviors” (such as speeding, traffic violations) and distracted driving. These volunteers were also directed to evaluate various risky driving scenarios and offer their possible reaction in a similar situation, as well as answer sleep-related questions.
The results: Those participants who scored in the lowest percentile (10 percent) of sleep habits were 2.8 times more likely to have a collision compared to those drivers who landed in the top 10 percent. McKenna suggests that poor sleep habits can greatly alter a driver’s attention span.
“It is clear that sleep hygiene, a measure that has no direct connection with driving, nevertheless, is able to predict crash involvement,” he writes in the European Review of Applied Psychology. “In other words, those factors that inhibit sleep quantity and or sleep quality may have important consequences for our abilities to stay safe on the road.”