Drowsy driving could be the main factor behind as many as 20% of traffic accidents, according to the results of a research investigation that replicated on-the-road scenarios. The figure is significantly higher than the previously estimated rate of 2% - 3%. The research, carried out at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, was described as a ‘100-car naturalistic study’ and was aimed at determining the reasons behind crashes and near-misses.
"One of the most important results from the study was the degree to which fatigue is a cause of accidents," said Charlie Klauer, group leader behind the research. "A finding that surprised people is the prevalence of fatigue during the day. We found significantly more crashes/near crashes due to fatigue during the day than at night.”
It was also found that the 18-20 age group experienced a higher proportion of fatigue-related incidents compared to others, possibly indicating a sleep deprivation issue relating to academic schedules, according to researchers.
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