Drowsy driving is as bad as drunk driving, AAA says - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Drowsy driving is as bad as drunk driving, AAA says

The AAA says 1 in 3 Americans admit to driving drowsy.  (Source: WOIO) The AAA says 1 in 3 Americans admit to driving drowsy. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

"All it takes is a second, and you just nod off."

That is what Karen Roberts remembers about falling asleep behind the wheel in 1988. At the time, she was a 21-year-old nurse working a double shift on Christmas night. She smashed into another vehicle on the way home. The other driver walked away with minor injuries, but she was in the hospital for two months with a traumatic brain injury. Roberts spent a lot of time re-learning how to walk, talk, feed and dress herself.

Roberts' story is not an uncommon one. A new AAA study says nearly one in three Americans admit to driving when they have a hard time keeping their eyes open. According to the AAA director, driving on four or five hours of sleep is the same as driving legally drunk.

The study says that 16 to 21 percent of all fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. Drivers who slept for only 4 to 5 hours had 4.3 times the crash rate of drivers who slept for at least seven hours, and drivers who slept for less than four hours had 11 times the crash rate, a risk comparable to driving with a BAC of roughly 0.12 to 0.15. 

Roberts cries when she shares her story.

"That's why I'm here today, and I want to share my story, so that you guys can learn from my mistake," she says.

Roberts still suffers from double vision and headaches, but considers herself lucky because her mistake could have been deadly.

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Trump gives Oval Office tour to White House reporters' kids

    Trump gives Oval Office tour to White House reporters' kids

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:51 PM EDT2018-04-26 16:51:23 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 4:08 PM EDT2018-04-26 20:08:55 GMT

    The White House is taking questions from the children of journalists at Take Your Kid to Work Day. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump's favorite animal is probably an...

    Full Story >

    The White House is taking questions from the children of journalists at Take Your Kid to Work Day. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump's favorite animal is probably an elephant, the symbol of the Republican Party.

    Full Story >
  • At hearings, EPA chief seeks to divert blame for ethics woes

    At hearings, EPA chief seeks to divert blame for ethics woes

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:53 AM EDT2018-04-26 04:53:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:01 PM EDT2018-04-26 21:01:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Protesters listen to speakers talk about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest by the American Federation of Government Employees union, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). Protesters listen to speakers talk about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the state of the EPA during a protest by the American Federation of Government Employees union, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Washington.

    Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt faces potentially make-or-break hearings on Capitol Hill, where he is expected to face questions about spending and ethics scandals that have triggered bipartisan...

    Full Story >

    Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt faces potentially make-or-break hearings on Capitol Hill, where he is expected to face questions about spending and ethics scandals that have triggered bipartisan calls for his ouster.

    Full Story >
  • Ronny Jackson withdraws from consideration for VA chief

    Ronny Jackson withdraws from consideration for VA chief

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:28 AM EDT2018-04-26 04:28:35 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:01 PM EDT2018-04-26 21:01:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, leaves a Senate office building after meeting individually with some members of the committee that would vet...
    Nomination of White House doctor to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs sufferes another blow with allegations of recklessly prescribing drugs and drunken behavior.Full Story >
    Nomination of White House doctor to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs sufferes another blow with allegations of recklessly prescribing drugs and drunken behavior.Full Story >
Powered by Frankly