Effects of drowsy driving can be like drunk driving

Posted at 8:41 AM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 08:41:47-05

(CNN) - It may not seem as bad as drunk driving or texting and driving, but drowsy drivers are a bigger problem than many realize.

New research from the AAA Foundation for traffic safety found that drowsy drivers are a bigger road risk than previously thought. Accidents are three times as great during the nighttime hours where drowsiness was a factor.

"Similar to alcohol intoxication, your reflexes and responses and data processing speed will be slower,” said Dr. Gholam Motamedi of Georgetown University Hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving is responsible each year for about 83,000 crashes - 37,000 of them with injuries - and nearly 900 deaths.

Signs of drowsy driving include yawning or blinking frequently, missing an exit and drifting from a lane.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved.