An analysis of driver data collected by the Michigan State Police further demonstrates the risks associated with drowsy driving. The study published in the June issue of SLEEP is the first to look at the driving records of randomly selected test subjects.
The findings suggest extreme sleepiness multiplies the likelihood of being in an accident causing serious injury. Overall crash rates were about 12 percent higher for tired drivers.
Researchers at Michigan State University and the Henry Ford Hospital Sleep Disorders and Research Center randomly called residents in metro Detroit, a region with demographics similar to the United States as a whole.
Each subject answered a series of questions about sleep and health habits, including use of medications, alcohol and illegal drugs.
About a third of the residents went in for laboratory tests, including an overnight sleep study and a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT).
Researchers worked with the Michigan State Police to collect crash data from from a 10 year span of the study subjects’ driving.
The drivers were divided up into three groups according to their MSLT scores. Those who were excessively sleepy had an accident rate of 59.4 percent. Only 47.3 percent of alert subjects were in an accident during that period.
Learn more about drowsy driving on SleepEducation.com.