A report conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who had missed just an hour or so of sleep were at an elevated risk of getting into an accident.
This survey provided information on 7,234 drivers from the US who were involved in 4,751 motor vehicle crashes between July 2005 and December 2007. All crashes had been reported to the police and involved the dispatch of emergency medical services.
As part of the investigation into each crash, drivers were asked to report the start and end times of any sleep they had in the 24 hours prior to the crash, including any naps that lasted at least 30 minutes.
Using this information, researchers were able to calculate the total amount of sleep each driver had over the 24-hour period and estimate how this contributed to their crash risk.
The results revealed that drivers who had 6-7 hours of sleep over 24 hours were 1.3 times more likely to have a motor vehicle crash than those who slept the recommended 7 hours or more.
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