Although driving while sleepy is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, a small study suggests college students may see it as unavoidable and not legally risky, reports Medscape.
In the U.S. alone, drowsy drivers are involved in nearly 300,000 car crashes each year, including 6,400 that result in deaths, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Drowsy driving is increasingly being recognized as a source of crashes and deaths on highways,” said study leader Dr. Kenneth Beck of the University of Maryland in College Park.
Beck and colleagues conducted four focus groups with 26 undergraduate college students in 2016. Students were surveyed about their driving habits, perceptions about risky driving behaviors (such as driving while drunk or using a phone), and strategies to improve traffic safety around drowsy driving in particular.