Metro Morning

Just one more hour of Netflix before bed? You could be doubling your crash risk the next morning

A new study by the American Automobile Association shows that missing one to two hours of sleep out of a night of seven hours could double your crash risk and missing two to three hours could quadruple it.

A new study from the American Automobile Association has transferable figures for Canadian drivers

The study, released Tuesday, was conducted by the American Automobile Association and mirrors the behaviour of Canadian drivers, according to CAA. (American Automobile Association)

A new study by the American Automobile Association shows that missing one to two hours of sleep out of the recommended seven could double your crash risk, and missing two to three hours could quadruple it. 

"This is roughly equal to being over the legal limit of alcohol," Ian Jack from the Canadian Automobile Association told Matt Galloway Friday on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning

The American study says that one-third of drivers surveyed admitted to driving without the recommended amount of sleep.

Canada does not have statistics that are as up-to-date, Jack said. But the last time there were federal numbers on the topic back in 2010, 20 per cent of fatal collisions involved fatigue. 

According to Jack, an annual CAA survey shows that fatigue ranks fifth on the list of what concerns Canadian drivers on the road. The first and second concerns are texting and impaired driving, respectively. 

Sleep isn't a priority

"People are aware it's an issue, they just don't prioritize it as much," said Jack. 

Jack admits that sometimes driving drowsy is unavoidable, but emphasized the importance of making choices when possible to minimize the risks. 

For example, he says that during the holidays, driving overnight to go see family may be putting your life at risk. 

"You wouldn't want to save a day and potentially cost a life." said Jack. He also suggested taking a cab and public transit where possible. 

"Just like you wouldn't take that extra glass of wine at the dinner party because you know you have to drive, hopefully you're going to give a little more thought to just how tired you feel before you get behind the wheel."

With files from Metro Morning

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