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Drowsy Drivers Involved in 1 in 5 Fatal Crashes
Updated November 12, 2014 9:32 AM
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(UNDATED) - A new study shows sleepy driver is a factor in more than one in five fatal crashes in the United States every year.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found in its study that 21 percent of car crashes that ended in at least one fatality are the result of drivers getting behind the wheel when they weren't fully awake. That's an estimated 6,000 fatigue-related fatal crashes per year.

Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger said in a press release, drivers often underestimate this risk and overestimate their ability to combat drowsiness behind the wheel.

Research by the same foundation showed young adults ages 19 to 24 were more likely than any other age group to report driving while fatigued -- more than 1 in 3 said they had done so in the last month.

Younger drivers were also more likely to nod off while driving than older adults. A 2012 survey found at least one in seven licensed drivers aged 16 to 24 years old reported they fell asleep while driving at least once in the past year. In comparison, one in 10 of all licensed drivers said they fell asleep at the wheel.

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