Drowsy drivers putting others at risk

A new study on people who practically fall asleep while driving has concluded the problem is at least 10 times worse than previously thought. (NBC News photo)

A new study on people who practically fall asleep while driving has concluded the problem is at least 10 times worse than previously thought.

Nearly 3,600 drivers volunteered to be recorded on video while driving, giving researchers actual evidence of dozing off behind the wheel.

"They are looking for cues such as the droopiness of the eyes or the amount of eye closures that were being observed," said William Horrey of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The videos from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute also showed hundreds of crashes, many where a drowsy driver was to blame.

"Driver drowsiness was implicated in approximately 10 percent of these crashes," Horrey said.

None of the crashes were fatal, but that rate is eight times higher than what federal researchers found, and why safety experts are blowing the horn on drowsy drivers.


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