More Young Drivers Falling Asleep Behind The Wheel

3:22 PM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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Already considered a group likely to get into car accidents, teen drivers now face added scrutiny when comes to being behind the wheel.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said that 1 out of every 7 drivers aged 16 to 24 admit to falling asleep at least once while driving in the last year, CBS affiliate WUSA Washington, D.C. reported.

Among the signs of sleepy driving according to the AAA Foundation are trouble keeping one's eyes open and yawning often. Recommendations if drowsiness develops include getting enough sleep before a trip; taking a break every two hours; and taking turns behind the wheel with a friend.

"Research shows that fatigue impairs safe driving, with many symptoms causing drivers to behave in ways similar to those who are intoxicated," AAA President & CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a press release. "In preparation for the holiday driving season and with many young drivers heading home for Thanksgiving break, AAA is drawing attention to this often overlooked crash risk that is a serious threat to everyone's safety on the road."

Teen drivers are already considered a risk group in car crashes. On its Web site, the Foundation cited that automobile crashes are the leading causes of death for teens in the U.S.; that the risk of death is 44 percent when a teen is driving the car with another passenger who is also younger than 21, and doubles and quadruples a car carries two or three or more who are younger than 21. And in the years 2005-2010, about 9,578 drivers, aged 16 and 17-years-olds, were in fatal crashes.

CBS News/WUSA

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